Spring has arrived, and we’re seeing a noticeable uptick in visitors at the Arnold Arboretum, even as the COVID-19 emergency has changed the ways we are all interacting for the sake of public health and safety. Providing our community with a beautiful and safe place to exercise, relax, and pursue well-being is central to our mission, and in this complicated moment we hope our grounds can be an oasis amid the challenges we face.

As you may have noticed, we have reduced the number of our staff who are working on site at the Arboretum as an effort to minimize person-to-person contact among essential employees. This unfortunately also means eliminating trash removal at the Arboretum for the time being. As a result, there is now a strict “carry in, carry out” policy for anything you bring into our landscape. All trash barrels have been removed from the landscape or decommissioned, so please bring your own bags to carry out your trash to dispose at home.

Overflowing barrel
Please cooperate with our measures to make the landscape safe and clean for all by taking any trash or waste you generate in our landscape with you.

Since we typically remove over 60 bags of trash each week, we understand that this request may be frustrating and inconvenient to visitors. However, we expect all to comply with this request out of respect and concern for public health and safety, the integrity of our landscape, and the continued well-being of our staff on-site who are keeping the Arboretum safe, clean, and growing strong.

While you are on the Arboretum grounds, we recommend you follow similar safety precautions to what the CDC (and other authorities, including Harvard University) are recommending for indoor interaction, including:

  • Keep 6 feet of distance between yourself and other visitors (easiest to do on our wider, main roads);
  • Avoid touching or sitting on our benches, since viruses can live on some surfaces for extended periods of time;
  • Avoid touching trunk labels and accession tags. You may use Arboretum Explorer on your mobile device to help you identify our plants through our interactive map.

With your cooperation, the Arnold Arboretum can continue to provide a beautiful, clean, and safe landscape for visitors at this time of heightened concern and reduction in on-site staffing. Thank you from all us—stay safe and stay well.

From “free” to “friend”…

Established in 1911 as the Bulletin of Popular Information, Arnoldia has long been a definitive forum for conversations about temperate woody plants and their landscapes. In 2022, we rolled out a new vision for the magazine as a vigorous forum for tales of plant exploration, behind-the-scenes glimpses of botanical research, and deep dives into the history of gardens, landscapes, and science. The new Arnoldia includes poetry, visual art, and literary essays, following the human imagination wherever it entangles with trees.

It takes resources to gather and nurture these new voices, and we depend on the support of our member-subscribers to make it possible. But membership means more: by becoming a member of the Arnold Arboretum, you help to keep our collection vibrant and our research and educational mission active. Through the pages of Arnoldia, you can take part in the life of this free-to-all landscape whether you live next door or an ocean away.

For more tree-entangled art, science, and writing, subscribe to Arnoldia by becoming a member of the Arnold Arboretum.