An arboretum is a diverse collection of distinctive trees and shrubs that are maintained and curated, at least in part, for educational and/or research purposes. Many arboretums today also feature other botanical displays including pollinator gardens, bio-swales, native plant areas, and water gardens.
Think of every tree and shrub on the grounds as part of the MGH arboretum! Buffalo State’s Maud Gordon Holmes Arboretum was officially started in 1962 under the leadership of Burchfield-Penney’s Dr. Edna Lindemann. With the planting of a single Scotch elm back then, the movement began. Since that time many additional trees have been added – all across the campus.
For starters, you probably learned in 3rd grade that trees have a very positive influence on our environment. We all know they absorb carbon dioxide, of course, but there are other benefits that you’d maybe not considered. For example, during heavy storms, trees are able to absorb a great deal of rainwater, decreasing the burden on sewer systems and minimizing flooding risk. So there’s that. They also function as “natural air conditioners”, providing shade and dispersing air moisture during hot weather. So that’s cool. Studies have also shown that more trees in an urban setting can actually deter crime – a pleasant, welcoming environment draws more people outside and that tends to discourage people with bad intentions. Makes sense, right? Yeah, well that’s great, but…
Not to interrupt, but there’s more. Native and migratory birds depend on the many insects and insect larvae that live among the tree tops. And Buffalo is situated along a major international flyway used year round by millions of song birds. Berries, seeds, and nuts produced by trees, shrubs and other plants also help sustain a large population of birds and other creatures. The educational and research opportunities for students and faculty using an arboretum as a living lab are immense. Oh, and how about the benefits of a beautiful campus? Don’t you think that’s important?
Well, at one time the arboretum contained more than 1700 trees and shrubs and at least 85 different varieties. Pretty impressive, you have to admit. But over time, weather events, insect infestations, construction, and normal attrition all took their toll. Bottom line – we’ve lost hundreds of tree since the arboretum was at its peak. And people have noticed. Our green infrastructure needs help. A beautiful campus offers not just a great place to study and work – it’s also good for the institution and the community-at-large. And there’s no environmental stewardship without an abundance of healthy trees. So it’s time.
For starters… the deteriorating state of the campus landscape has been a topic of concern all across the campus community. A recent survey of students, staff, and faculty confirmed that most of us feel strongly that an attractive campus is an important element of the college (and work) experience. There are many very passionate and talented individuals who have already joined the MGH Arboretum movement – and it’s just getting started! Plus, there’s a solid administrative and fiduciary infrastructure behind it all. And on top of that, there’s good reason to believe that many others off campus will also be attracted to the goals of the project. So there.
Your intelligence was evident right from the start! We’re looking to build a large membership base so for only $20.00 you can become a member of the Friends of the Arboretum. That twenty bucks will go toward purchasing trees and to handle other minor ancillary costs that will inevitably arise as the movement goes forward. In the near future we anticipate sponsoring fund-raising events and related activities to sustain the project over time. We intend to plant at least 10 or more trees before the snow flies. Click here for the membership form. Will that be cash or check?
An arboretum is a botanical garden containing living collections of woody plants intended at least partly for scientific study.
At its peak, Buffalo State’s Maud Gordon Holmes arboretum was recognized as a destination point for nature lovers and a vibrant living laboratory and classroom for faculty and students. With more than 1700 trees, this distinctive collection of trees and shrubs was once a lovely complement to Frederick Law Olmsted’s Delaware Park and an attractive and vital element of the Elmwood Village and Museum Corridor experience.But the years have taken their toll. Hundreds of trees have been lost due to weather events, insect infestations, construction, and general attrition. Buffalo State’s arboretum needs help.
The Friends of the Maud Gordon Holmes arboretum has been formed to help bring our once beautiful campus landscape back to its former glory. Donate.
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