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The Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University achieves excellence in scholarship and contributes to the advancement of society as an international center for the study of plants. Integrating eminent living and archival collections for discovery and dissemination of knowledge to the students of Harvard University, local educational institutions, and the public, the Arnold Arboretum is a premier destination for deepening understanding and appreciation of plants, horticulture, and biodiversity.
Established in 1872 and planned and designed in collaboration with Frederick Law Olmsted, the Arnold Arboretum is a National Historic Landmark and one of the best preserved of Olmsted’s landscapes. Founded as a public-private partnership between the City of Boston and Harvard University, the Arnold Arboretum is a unique blend of respected research institution and beloved public park in Boston’s Emerald Necklace.
Occupying 281 acres, the Arboretum’s living collection of trees, shrubs, and woody vines is recognized as one of the most comprehensive and best documented of its kind in the world. The living collection is supported by comprehensive curatorial documentation, herbaria containing more than 1.3 million specimens, extensive library and archival holdings, and a 43,000-square-foot state-of-the-art research center. These facilities and holdings, along with 75 full-time staff, provide the basis for research and education by Harvard faculty and students, Arboretum scholars, and visiting scientists from around the world. Investigations focus on examining plant diversity from genomic, developmental, organismic, evolutionary, and ecosystem perspectives.
Free and open to the public every day of the year, the Arboretum is a safe and accessible community resource that is utilized by thousands of visitors each year. As a university-based living collection, the Arnold Arboretum has the opportunity to share a wealth of knowledge with the public in a way that is engaging, substantive, and long-lasting. Outreach enrichment efforts include children’s education programs, adult education classes, and visitor education programs.