The Arboretum serves a multitude of functions for the College and the greater New London community.
For students, the Arboretum provides a welcome connection with the natural world, a place to get away for recreation and reflection.
For the College's academic program, especially botany, biological sciences, and environmental studies, the Arboretum is a living laboratory just a few steps from the classrooms and residence halls. Generations of faculty and students have used the forests, meadows and wetlands for teaching and research.
The Arboretum consists of over 750 acres of Plant Collections including the Native Plant Collection, the Caroline Black Garden, Campus Landscape and Greenhouse and Natural Areas including Mamacoke Island and Bolleswood Tract. All areas are open to the public every day from dawn to dusk. All trails are suitable for hiking or casual strolling; limited areas are available for running.
2019 Guided Tours
Join one of the Arboretum's knowledgeable docents for a free guided tour the first and second Sunday of each month from May through November. The first Sunday will be a tour of the Native Plant Collection and the second Sunday will be the Caroline Black Garden. Tours are generally 1 to 1.5 hours long. All tours start promptly at 10 a.m. Registration is not required.
Meet at the entrance of Olin Science Center for all tours.
May 5 - Native Plant Collection
May 12 - Caroline Black Garden
June 2 - Native Plant Collection
June 9 - Caroline Black Garden
July 7 - Native Plant Collection
July 14 - Caroline Black Garden
August 4 - Native Plant Collection
August 11 - Caroline Black Garden
September 1 - Native Plant Collection
September 8 - Caroline Black Garden
October 6 - Native Plant Collection
October 13 - Caroline Black Garden
November 3 - Native Plant Collection
November 10 - Caroline Black Garden
Visitors to the Native Plant Collection will find a notice board and a self-guided tour brochure at the main entrance on Williams Street. Additional information is available at the Arboretum office in 103 Olin Science Center directly north of the main College entrance from Rt. 32. For visitors arriving after office hours, a variety of informational brochures are available on a rack outside the office door.
Private Guided Tours
Private guided tour destinations include the diverse Native Plant Collection, the exquisite Caroline Black Garden, or the beautiful campus international trees on campus.
$80 for a group of 20 or fewer (add $5 for each additional person).
* One free private tour per year is a benefit of membership for garden clubs and others who join the non-profit organization category.
The tours take approximately 1 hour and 15 minutes but can be tailored to meet the group's needs.
Youth Groups (Arbo Project Tours)
Students from Connecticut College lead tours for school-aged children in the Arboretum's Native Plant Collection from mid-September to early November and from the last week in March until the first week in May. (If you would like to visit between May and September, our docents may be available to lead tours.) The tour runs for approximately one hour and covers topics such as changing seasons, plant life cycles, ecology and environmental conservation. The possibility also exists to tailor a tour to include specific topics being discussed in your classroom.
Arbo Project tours are offered free of charge. We prefer to keep groups to a maximum of forty students with one Connecticut College student guide for every ten students.
Please plan on giving at least three weeks notice to schedule your tour. Tours can be arranged by calling 860-439-5020 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.
Use your smartphone (or other similar mobile device) to hear audio clips and see images of the history, plants and seasonal highlights of several destinations in the Native Plant Collection. Tour content is simply downloaded in advance of the expedition and then accessed by scanning QR codes on site. When you walk the grounds, look for QR codes to get information on your smart phone.
1. Download the tour from the QR code at right. This download works best with a high-speed internet connection. If you are on campus use the ConnColl Guest wireless.
2. If you do not have a QR code scanner, download a free application. Search Google Play or the App Store on your smart phone and install. Inigma is a good cross platform app.
3. Go to a destination in the Arboretum with a QR code and scan the code with your smartphone. You do not need wireless or a cellular data connection after downloading the tour. Audio will automatically play. Manually scroll through images.