Start with a definition: Soirée — an evening party or social gathering, especially one held for a particular purpose.

For five years, Dyck Arboretum has hosted a “Summer Soirée.” This summer is no different, with the event scheduled for 6 to 9 p.m. June 29.


“It will be a really good event,” said Janelle Flory Schrock of the arboretum.

The idea is to provide an opportunity for arboretum members and supporters to spend a relaxed evening together learning about the prairie, enjoying music, eating and learning a bit about the organization at 177 W. Hickory in Hesston.


This year's event will feature a presentation on "Aldo Leopold and the Land Ethic: Bridging the Urban and Rural Divide" by Curt Meine, conservation biologist and author of the Aldo Leopold biography, "Aldo Leopold: His Life and Work."


Meine, who lives in Wisconsin, is a biographer of Aldo Leopold — a pioneer in the area of conservation. Leopold's words appear on sculptures at the arboretum.


“He is considered kind of the father of conservation,” Flory Schrock said. “He was looking at how to be good stewards of the land before really anyone else.”


Music will be provided by David Anderson on hammer dulcimer and a silent auction will feature items from local businesses and individuals.


Dinner will be catered by Catering by Kaye, beginning with a romaine salad with apples and pecans, appetizers and sparkling apple cider, followed by carved inside round roast or herb crusted chicken breast. Summer squash and potato torte, seasoned green beans and homemade bread with butter will accompany the main dish. Homemade ice cream with cherry, peach and blackberry cobbler will be served for dessert.


Tickets for the event are $80 for individuals, $150 for a couple or $550 to reserve a table of eight.  Reservations should be made by June 23. 


For more information about the event, or to register, visit or call 620-327-8127.