50th Anniversary

We’re going to be celebrating The Arboretum’s 50 years of research, experiential learning, and community engagement all year long! Sign up for our newsletter and follow us on social media for news.

Roots & Branches Our History Website 


website screenshot for The Arb History websiteThe Arboretum History website, “Roots & Branches” celebrates some of the origins, grounds, collections, research, education, conservation, and community efforts of our first 50 years. The website includes rarely seen pictures and maps, showcasing the dramatic restoration of The Arboretum site and the steady development of our plant collections. Produced as part of a student-led experiential learning research project, it also includes personal recollections of staff, students, faculty, donors, and volunteers.
The website also includes a timeline of the land that begins prior to the creation of The Arboretum -- acknowledging the natural history of the land, the traditional peoples who occupied the space before settlers arrived, and the political points of purchase and founding. Most of the photos featured on the website were taken by Arboretum staff, volunteers, and supporters over the last 50 years.
The website grew from a fourth-year experiential learning course taught by Dr. Kim Martin, a professor in the Department of History. Working with The Arboretum’s research coordinator, Aron Fazekas, the students conducted historical research utilizing files held by the Arboretum as well as the McLaughlin Library’s Archival and Special Collections. They also conducted oral history interviews with individuals. The coursework was then adapted by an undergraduate student, Emma Scott, who completed the website as part of an Undergraduate Research Assistantship position with The Arboretum. Scott worked with Arboretum staff members including Aron Fazekas, Justine Richardson, Chris Earley, Polly Samland, and Sean Fox, as well as former staff including Alan Watson, Shelley Hunt, and Ric Jordan, to highlight moments from the past five decades within four themes: Arboretum spaces, collections, and the environment, research and education, and people.

Visit the website here.

Past Events

Local Leadership and Global Impact: Botanic Gardens Advancing Food Security

Banner image of a woman's face with text Local Leadership and Global Impact: Botanic Gardens Advancing Food Security. A talk and virtual celebration of UofG's Arboretum 50 years and growing.

Our kick-off event was broadcast on October 18th, 2020. Pre-recorded in the pandemic, our program featured a talk by Dr. Saharah Moon Chapotin, Executive Director of the US Botanic Garden; a report on some of our conservation and collections efforts by Sean Fox, Manager of Collections; and a musical piece ‘Arboretum Improvisation’ recorded during the summer shutdowns by percussionist Richard Burrows playing marimba on our renovated boardwalk in Wild Goose Woods! Watch the full program below or find individual sections linked in the program.






This begins a year-long celebration featuring many facets of the Arboretum — past, present, and looking to the future.


For more information follow us on social media or email us at: thearb50@uoguelph.ca.