The Connecticut College Arboretum provides a welcome connection with the natural world, offering opportunities for
- public education
Connecticut College exists in a singular environment known as the Connecticut College Arboretum, which offers a quality of life and a conservation classroom unique among liberal arts institutions. The Arboretum's very diverse 770 acres include the landscaped grounds of the College campus as well as the surrounding plant collections, natural areas and managed landscapes. These resources all support the College's mission of preparing the next generation of citizen-leaders, whose diverse responsibilities will include crafting a sustainable relationship with the natural world. Our institution distinguishes itself by a long-standing commitment to conservation and supporting research and teaching in ecological and environmental studies. The symbiosis of the Environmental Studies Program, the Goodwin-Niering Center for the Environment and the Arboretum provides an outstanding model of an ethically and environmentally sound community.
The College has three major plant collections: the Campus Landscape, with 120 acres of trees and shrubs from around the world; the Native Plant Collection, 30 acres of woody plants and wildflowers indigenous to eastern North America; and the three-acre Caroline Black Garden, with a diversity of woody plants, many quite mature, in a garden setting. Professional curatorial techniques, such as mapping, inventories, labeling and computer databases, are used to keep track of the thousands of specimens now part of the Arboretum Collections. Labeled plants, guided tours, workshops and publications are part of the collection interpretation program.
All of the College property is available for teaching and research in environmental studies, the biological sciences and other academic programs. At least 30 different college courses utilize the Arboretum. The College aims to create a "living laboratory" that stimulates environmental awareness in students and those working at or visiting Connecticut College.
More than 200 acres are dedicated as Natural Area, lands kept as free as possible from human disturbance, and specifically available for observational research, teaching and recreation. Another 200 acres are available for manipulative projects, such as controlled burning experiments and vegetation management demonstrations. These lands have a rich tradition of long- and short-term ecological research by faculty and students.
The Arboretum offers visitors a chance to explore a diverse collection of natives and botanicals, to view a performance by Flock Theatre, or to just simply wander and enjoy the beauty of this precious natural resource.
Connecticut College Arboretum Awarded Level III Accreditation
Connecticut College Arboretum has been awarded a Level III Accreditation through the ArbNet program. By achieving particular standards of professional practices deemed important for arboreta and botanic gardens, they are now recognized among other professional public gardens in the Morton Register of Arboreta.