About the Arboretum

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Widely recognized as the site of historic research in ecological restoration, the Arboretum includes the oldest and most varied collection of restored ecological communities in the world, including tallgrass prairies, savannas, several forest types and wetlands. It also houses flowering trees, shrubs and a world-famous lilac collection. Educational tours for groups and the general public, science and nature-based classes for all ages and abilities, and a wide variety of volunteer opportunities for groups, families and individuals are available.

In the early 1930s, the Arboretum was cultivated fields and pastures that had fallen into disuse. The university decided, early on, to try to bring back the plants and animals that had lived on the land before its development. Read more…

Public use of the Arboretum and its facilities requires a balance between research, educational and recreational needs. Some Visitor Center rooms are available for meetings and classes. Read more…

Tending the Arboretum’s 1,200 acres and 513 acres in outlying properties requires an experienced staff of land managers, along with scientists, students and volunteers who restore and protect biological diversity and ecosystem functions. Read more…