Widely recognized as the site of historic research in ecological restoration, the Arboretum includes the oldest and most varied collection of restored ecological communities in the world.
Among the tallgrass prairies, savannas, wetlands and several forest types, the Arboretum also houses flowering trees, shrubs and a world-famous lilac collection. Educational tours for groups and the general public, science and nature-based classes for all ages and abilities, and a wide variety of volunteer opportunities for groups, families, and individuals are available.
In the early 1930s, the Arboretum was cultivated fields and pastures that had fallen into disuse. The university decided, early on, to try to bring back the plants and animals that had lived on the land before its development.
Our Summer program, Earth Focus Day Camp, has created outstanding summer nature programs for children ages 3–14. EFDC helps children develop an understanding of how ecosystems work, nurtures a sense of wonder for nature, and guides children as they explore the habitats, plants, and animals of the Arboretum. Children are empowered to be a positive influence on their world. Our naturalists are enthusiastic and experienced, but the real teacher is our most treasured resource: the land. Join us to learn, grow, and be a part of this special place.