The beloved Mother's Day Lilac Sunday is cancelled, and the Arnold Arboretum is telling people to not visit that day.
"In keeping with CDC and Harvard COVID-19 guidelines for large gatherings, the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University is canceling Lilac Sunday 2020," said an Arnold Arboretum press release. "All formal activities such as tours, family crafts and science, and performances scheduled for Sunday, May 10 are suspended, and picnics will not be allowed on this or any day."
The arboretum will remain open, but people are being encouraged to visit a different day. There will be plenty of time to enjoy the more than 200 lilac plants as lilac season is just beginning and stretches for several weeks, typically through late May.
Visitors are advised to keep social distancing of at least six feet, with a preference of 10, and try to visit another time if it appears crowded. You can also see levels of visitation monitored in real time through a Google tracker, and note peak visiting times to avoid.
The Arnold Arboretum is asking people to listen to the following guidelines:
- PLEASE DO NOT COME ON MOTHER’S DAY.
- All streets around the perimeter of the Arboretum are closed to parking, including the Arborway and Bussey Street. Visitors parking in surrounding neighborhoods should respect parking regulations and signage. Do not block crosswalks.
- Wear a facial covering. Maintain a distance of at least 6-10 feet from other visitors. Assess the safety of visiting the lilac collection. If crowds at the lilacs do not allow for safe social distancing, visit a different area of the landscape or return at a different time.
- All buildings and restrooms, including portable toilets, are closed through May.
- Do not touch anything. The Arnold Arboretum can not guarantee the sanitation of any surfaces, for example, benches, railings, plant identification tags, or signage.
- Picnics are not allowed.
- Carry in and carry out all of your belongings, including trash and dog waste.
- As ever, be kind to the plants. Do not pick or prune plants, do not climb trees, and do not step in planting beds