Here are the latest Jamaica Plain neighborhood notes:

Solstice at the Arboretum

The Arnold Arboretum will host two evenings of tree lore and summer solstice legends from 6:30 to 8:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 23, meeting at the Hunnewell Building, 125 Arborway.

Storyteller Diane Edgecomb and Celtic harpist Margot Chamberlain will lead visitors through the tree-lined paths with stories, songs and music in a performance designed specifically for the arboretum. Each story is told under a different tree or among a unique collection of arboretum plants.

The evening culminates with the Czech legend, “The Wild Woman of the Birch Grove,” at the birches of Bussey Hill at sunset.

This event is appropriate for adults and children, ages 12 and older. Participants will walk approximately two miles on and off trails on uneven terrain. The fee is $25, and space is limited. In the event of rain, the performances will be held in the Hunnewell Building.

Call 617-524-1718 or visit to register and for more information.

Historical tours

The Jamaica Plain Historical Society will host free guided walking tours at 11 a.m. on June 23 and 30.

Walkers will visit Jamaica Pond on June 23 and learn how this area was transformed from private estates of Boston’s elite into today’s parkland. The tour will start from the Bandstand at Pond Street.

The June 30 tour will focus on the Monument Square area, which includes a National Historic District. It also features the country’s oldest community theater company, an 18th century mansion that once served as the nation’s first military hospital, a house dated from 1716 that was once a tavern, the Eliot School and the First Church burial ground.

The tours take one hour and reservations are not required.

Visit for more information about these and other tours.

Literary Boston

The Forest Hills Educational Trust will welcome historian Anthony Sammarco for a Sunday afternoon cemetery walk from 2 to 3:30 p.m. on Sunday, June 24. Participants will meet at the Visitors’ Circle at the cemetery, 95 Forest Hills Ave.

Sammarco will lead a tour visiting the gravesites of some of the prominent literary figures memorialized at Forest Hills, including poets e.e. cummings and Anne Sexton; playwright Eugene O’Neill; Susanna Haswell Rowson, whose novel “Charlotte Temple” was America’s first bestseller; Annie Haven Thwing, author of “Crooked and Narrow Streets of Boston;” and Lewis Waterman, inventor of the fountain pen.

The 90-minute tour is over varied terrain and will have frequent stops. Participants should bring water and wear comfortable walking shoes.

To purchase tickets and for more information, visit or call 617-524-0128.

Kids’ concert

Musician and educator Mariana Iranzi will present a bilingual concert for children and family at the Connolly Branch Library, 433 Centre St., at 10:30 a.m. on Tuesday, June 26.

Iranzi will get children dancing, playing and singing along to her high quality music in Spanish and English. This free educational and interactive show is fun for the whole family.

For more details, call 617-522-1960.

Gender identity explored

The Connolly Branch Library, 433 Centre St., will host “Tutus for Batman” with Wee the People from 4 to 5:30 p.m. on Wednesday, June 27.

Kids will celebrate and explore gender identity with a story time, activity and interactive games. This free program is best suited for kids, ages 5 and older. Little Voices, Big Change is presented by Wee the People, a Boston-based social justice project for kids.

Call 617-522-1960 for further information.

Art workshop

The Jamaica Plain Branch Library, 30 South St., will host a Doodle Workshop with cartoonist and art educator Cara Bean at 4 p.m. on Wednesday, June 27.

Doodle workshops are designed to help children stretch their imagination, be silly and enjoy drawing. For added inspiration, they will be listening to family-friendly rock music.

This free program is suited for children ages 6 and up and their adult caretakers. It is part of the Libraries Rock Summer Reading Program.

For more details, call 617-524-2053.

Night sky

The Connolly Branch Library, 433 Centre St., will host “Night Sky” at 11 a.m. on Thursday, June 28.

An educator from the Museum of Science will help children explore the night sky, including stars, planets and other celestial objects.

The program is best for children, ages 6 and older. Admission is free.

Space is limited and registration is required. Call 617-522-1960 to register and for more details.

Rockets at the library

Educators from the Museum of Science will host a free program from 6:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, June 28 at the Jamaica Plain Branch Library, 30 South St.,

The museum will present “Rockets: There and Back Again,” where kids will become rocket scientists by designing, building and testing balloon rockets and re-entry parachutes. Reservations are required for this program, by calling 617-524-2053.

Catch and release

The annual Kids’ Fishing Derby will be held at Jamaica Pond at 507 Jamaicaway on Saturday, June 30, rain or shine. Check will be from 7:30 to 8:45 a.m. with the Derby from 9 a.m. to 1p.m.

Children, ages 14 years old and younger, are welcome to join the men and women of the Boston Police Department District E-13 (Jamaica Plain) for some fun at Jamaica Pond at the “Catch and Release with the Boston Police” Fishing Derby. The first 500 kids to the derby will receive a T-shirt and the first 300 kids will also receive a Boston Police “Welcome Bag.” Each child present will receive a free raffle ticket for prize giveaways at the end of the fishing derby.

Participants should bring a fishing rod and their best bait to catch the big one. Some fishing equipment and bait will be supplied on a first-come, first-served basis. The day will also feature food, prizes, trophies, fishing instruction and community partners.

Register at Call 617-343-5623 for more information.

From seed to trees

The Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, will present “From Seed to Trees” at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, July 3, meeting at the Bonsai and Penjing Collection above the Leventritt shrub and vine garden.

Participants will get a behind-the-scenes look of the greenhouse growing process, from seed to sprout to seedling to tree. Admission is free.

Call 617-524-1718 or visit to register and for more information.

Art display and workshop

The Arnold Arboretum is displaying “Impressions of Woody Plants: Disjunction, Two Artists and the Arnold Arboretum,” copper etchings by Bobbi Angell and watercolor paintings by Beverly Duncan, in the Hunnewell Building, 125 Arborway, now through July 22.

Botanical artists Angell and Duncan have different approaches to their work: their media, copper and watercolor, their plant focuses, exotic and native, and their backgrounds, botany and art. In the end though, it is all about the wonder of woody plants and the artists’ approaches to creating images.

Angell is attracted to unusual, cultivated specimens due to her long history working with botanists and horticulturalists. Her drawings are developed into finely crafted copper etchings, which are then printed in limited editions.

Duncan is drawn to the familiarity of native plants. She translates the common and recognizable into intimate portraits in detailed watercolor paintings. For this exhibition, Duncan focused on paintings of seedlings, the delicate early life of a tree or shrub.

Call 617-384-5209 or send an email to for more information.

Legal services help

The Legal Services Center of Harvard Law School will offer extended walk-in hours on Tuesdays from 5 to 7 p.m. during June and July. The center is located at 122 Boylston St. next to the Stony Brook MBTA station.

The team will provide free legal help for individuals facing housing, consumer, student loan, domestic violence, tax, veterans and public health benefit issues. All are invited to meet with staff members to receive self-help resources and referral information.

On Tuesday, June 19, there will be special emphasis on tax-related issues. Anyone with a state or federal income tax problem can attend any of the evening hours, but is particularly encouraged to attend on June 19.

Coffee, tea and refreshments will be served.

Further information can be found at or by calling 617-522-3003.

‘Spirit Books’

Susan Kapuscinski Gaylord’s “Spirit Books” are on display in the Hunnewell Building’s Visitor Center at the Arnold Arboretum, 125 Arborway, now through July 22.

These art books reveal Gaylord’s connection between the inherent spirituality and mystery of nature with the long-standing tradition of books as testaments of faith and belief. She gathers twigs, branches, vines and roots and then uses them to cradle her stitched, wordless books. She encourages “reading” the books as a contemplative experience, one that will take the viewer out of the everyday world.

Since Gaylord created her first one in 1992 and coined the name, the “Spirit Books” have been exhibited throughout the U.S., Canada and in Korea. She has exhibited at the Center for Book Arts in New York City, the University of Indiana Art Gallery, Milwaukee Institute of Art and Design, and the Seungnam Book Fair in Seungnam, Korea.

Further information can be found at or by calling 617-524-1718.

Music, farmers’ market

The Loring-Greenough House, 12 South St., is offering Thursdays on the Lawn from 3:30 to 8 p.m. Thursdays now through Oct. 1.

Festivities will include live music, children’s activities, food trucks and a farmers’ market with heirloom plants and produce, organic vegetables, pasta and baked goods.

Visit for further information.

New artwork

The Jamaica Plain Branch Library, 30 South St., is displaying “Just Ducky,” artwork by Maureen O’Connor, now to June 30.

O’Connor’s works on view in “Just Ducky” focus on her favorite subject: a pair of ceramic ducks given to her by her former roommate’s mother. These small inanimate knickknacks find new life under O’Connor’s brush, turning their seemingly quizzical expressions on gumball machines, rubber ducky toys, flowers and each other. Each work allows the artist the opportunity to explore interactions of light and shadow, color and pattern, and a variety of surfaces.

Call 617-524-2053 for more information.

Arboretum tours

Free, guided walking tours of the Arnold Arboretum will be offered at 10:30 a.m. on Mondays, Thursdays and Saturdays and 1 p.m. on Sundays during June. Walkers should meet at the Hunnewell Building, 125 Arborway.

Volunteer docents will lead tours of the 285 acres, pointing out seasonal highlights, the science of trees, arboretum history and points of interest. These tours last 60 to 90 minutes and are geared toward adults.

Registration is not required.

Call 617-524-1718 or visit for more details.

Loring-Greenough tours

The 1760 colonial mansion Loring-Greenough House, 12 South St., has resumed the guided tours of the house from 1 to 3 p.m. on Sundays during June.

Visitors will see the newly acquired portraits of David Greenough II and his wife Maria, as well as other historic treasures. Reservations are not needed, but visitors can contact a docent with any special inquiries at A donation of $5 is suggested.

For further information, visit or call 617-524-5138.