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As we celebrate our 35th year, we invite you to join us in Seeding the Next 35 Years by creating and enhancing habitats within the Arboretum to make for a more diverse and resilient woodland for many years to come. With your help, we can succeed in our pursuit to usher in a future defined by Restoration, Resilience, and Reciprocity.

Our Vision for the Arboretum



We plan to install a native shade garden in the upper Arboretum, which is currently underplanted. Adjacent to the Labyrinth, this native shade garden will add a new layer to the forest for the benefit of wildlife and visitors coming and going from the Labyrinth.

Native plants were growing in an area before people were gardening there. While we like almost all plants wherever they’re from, native plants are perfectly adapted for the local ecosystem and provide what the native fauna (animals, large and small) need for food and habitat. Layered plantings create more places for animals and insects to hide, rest, and eat. Increased biodiversity will make this ecosystem healthier and more resilient in the face of pressure in the future. This garden will be full of native plants that are happy in the shade to inspire you to consider expanding the number and kinds of natives at your home or to support their planting elsewhere.




In the further upper reaches of the Arboretum, one can discover the beginnings of a stumpery garden. Wonderful stumps & root plates will be featured along the upper trail where an abundance of ferns and woodland perennials will be planted to grace the trail edge and surround the stumpery that serve as natural sculptures that will provide interest for years as they slowly decompose back into the soil beneath them. 

A stumpery is a type of garden developed in the Victorian era to show off a collection of ferns and encourage visitors to appreciate the amazing forms found in stumps, fallen logs, and root plates. As the natural sculpture decomposes over many years, it will also provide habitat benefits for animals-- dead trees are just as important as live ones. We love the rustic nature of the upper Arboretum and are excited to enhance the scenery here with something fascinating, beautiful, and beneficial!



Around the main pond and pond patio areas, we hope to add more layers of plants to reduce erosion and enhance the existing plantings' resilience!

Bodies of water, large and small, often serve several functions within an ecosystem. Our pond is no different, despite being man-made, it serves as a site for foraging, nesting, shelter, and of course as a reliable source of water for the wildlife of the Arboretum. As the vegetation grew in and plant communities began to develop, the pond's productivity began to reach new heights. The presence of plants in bodies of water improves water quality by consuming carbon dioxide to produce dissolved oxygen for aquatic life and stabilizing sediment to reduce erosion. Adding complexity to the existing plantings will create more layers of habitat for the birds, small mammals, and reptiles. The increased biodiversity will make this space healthier and more resilient in the face of future challenges. We love that so many people enjoy the pond loop and are excited to enhance it with something fascinating, beautiful, and beneficial!

Hillside Garden Before


Hillside Wildflower Garden

By eliminating the existing turf, we have begun the process of establishing our new wildflower garden!

While it’s true that the grass turf will hold the soil down to prevent erosion, its ecosystem benefits don’t extend very far beyond that. The generous blend of mostly native wildflowers planted here will provide nectar for pollinating insects; create more layers of habitat for the birds, small mammals, and reptiles; and change over time as longer-lived but slower-to-grow perennials take their place over the faster-growing ones. The increased biodiversity will make this space healthier and more resilient in the face of future challenges. 


Sinclair Native Meadowscape

Inspired by the creations of nature, we plan to convert a difficult and steeply sloped area of the Arboretum into a meadow-like terrain filled with mostly native grasses!

We’re having a hard time getting the turf we inherited to grow because it’s so dry on the hill--so we went looking for a better solution. The native grasses and wildflowers planted here, once established, will require less water and maintenance and create food and habitat for pollinating insects; create more layers of habitat for the birds, small mammals, and reptiles; and make for interesting change over time as longer-lived but slower-to-grow perennials take their place over the faster growing ones. The increased biodiversity will also make this space healthier and more resilient in the face of future challenges.

Give Back to the Arboretum

There are many ways to give back to the Arboretum!

We encourage you to join and support our efforts through volunteering, becoming an arboretum member, donating to our General Arboretum Fund, or making an additional purchase at our spring and fall plant sales for our Great Garden Giveback.

You can contribute to the Great Garden Giveback at our plant sales by purchasing specialty EJC Arboretum items. Depending on your purchases, you can cover the cost of single perennials or shrubs or purchase a whole spectrum of plants!

Become a Volunteer Become a Member Donate to the General Arboretum Fund 

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