University of Guelph Arboretum
The Guelph Arboretum of the University of Guelph is an arboretum modeled after the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University, which was founded in 1872. The Arnold Arboretum is privately endowed as a department of Harvard just as the Guelph Arboretum is a department of the University of Guelph. The University of Guelph Arboretum was founded in the early 1970s and plantings started in 1971 which have developed into specialized gardens, botanical collections, and gene conservation programs. These Arboretums are demonstrations of American gardening which did not come into its own until the late 19th century. With Industrialization, cities grew in size with a need for natural areas, which were included through the creation of public parks. Views of botanical gardens began to change as they became sources for new material of potential horticultural use rather than only public spaces. Today these spaces act in the propagation of plants that have the potential as attractive and functional ornamentals.
The Arboretum is open all year round to the public from dawn to dusk. There are 73,500 visitors per year. It is used for teaching, research and many other events. There are many university courses, school programs, adult workshops and preregistered group walking tours held at the Arboretum. It is also a popular place for weddings, dinner theatre or memorial services and dedications. There are many walks and tours offered to see the large diversity of plants.
The Aboretum is maintained by the Director, Professor Shelley Hunt, as well as over 100 volunteers from the University of Guelph and the Guelph community. Volunteering includes grounds work, gardening, fundraising, auxiliary administration, staff support, assisting in program delivery and at special events.