News and Blog Articles
News and Blog Articles
If you’ve ever been on UGA’s campus, then you’ve surely seen the stunning array of trees and other flora decorating the landscape. These natural wonders are more than just pretty embellishments – they’re a part of the University of Georgia Campus Arboretum.
What’s an arboretum?
It sounds pretty fancy, but an arboretum is just a fancy word for a botanical garden that’s specifically devoted to trees. So, while places like the State Botanical Garden of Georgia definitely have their fair share of trees, arboreta feature trees as the majority.
Where is the University of Georgia Campus Arboretum?
While most arboreta and botanical gardens are set up like a park, with an entrance and exit and clearly-defined walking paths, the UGA Campus Arboretum encompasses the entirety of UGA’s campus! Any land that is owned and maintained by the University of Georgia is a part of the UGA Campus Arboretum.
Why did UGA dedicate its entire campus as an arboretum?
The University of Georgia has always played an active role in caring about the environment, and an important part of advocating for nature is helping it grow! Prior to the Campus Arboretum, UGA established a few smaller arboreta in designated locations. Unfortunately, these attempts succumbed to development as the University grew.
In order to create an arboretum that could be protected, the decision was made to declare the entire campus one. Rather than funding the maintenance of a specific plot of land as an homage to trees, the University puts those efforts into the Arboretum Committee. In turn, the committee ensures all of UGA’s landscaping falls in line with the Campus Arboretum’s mission:
“…to provide biologically diverse and aesthetic collections of trees, shrubs, and herbaceous plants in designed settings for the enjoyment and education students, staff, faculty, and visitors, and to map, label, and otherwise promote the extant and future tree and shrub collections.”
This mission ensures that the trees planted on campus are well cared for, and that more trees (and shrubs and herbaceous plants) are incorporated into the landscape as often as possible. The result of this is that the entire University campus is a beautiful museum of all that nature has to offer!
How to Enjoy the UGA Campus Arboretum
Whether you’re a student, faculty member, visitor, or just a passerby, the Campus Arboretum is for everyone. You can take a walk through the grounds yourself to see the sights. Featured trees will have a small black sign at their base that declares them a part of the Campus Arboretum and denotes their species.
But, if you’re interested in a more structured tour, the University of Georgia Campus Arboretum website has guides for all the different sections of campus: North Campus, Central Campus, South Campus, the Founder’s Garden, and the Oconee Forest Park.
You can download and print a copy of the North Campus Walking Tour map for a list of featured trees paired with hand-drawn leaf examples.
Or, you can take a virtual tour of each campus section, where you’ll find pictures of featured trees and more relevant information.
Stay tuned as over the next few weeks, we take some time to shine a spotlight on the different campus tours, what trees you can expect to see, and what makes those trees special!
Emily Casuccio is sister and sister-in-law to Rebekah and Scott Rushing, and has over half a decade of experience in copywriting, copyediting, proofreading, and developmental storyboarding. She's worked with both published and undiscovered authors on both fiction and nonfiction, and takes pride in supporting local businesses. Her passion lies in the written word and helping authors of all capacities realize their dreams and achieve their fullest potential. To learn more about her, read samples of her work, or contact her, visit her online portfolio.