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Penn State Arboretum provides beautiful place for students and visitors year-round

If you’re a plant enthusiast or simply enjoy the outdoors, the Penn State Arboretum is the place for you to check out. (WJAC)

STATE COLLEGE – If you’re a plant enthusiast or simply enjoy the outdoors, the Penn State Arboretum is the place for you to check out.

In 1889, over 360 acres of land was purchased to create the arboretum.

Director Dr. Kim Steiner, along with others on the committee, needed to come up with a way to entice potential donors to bring “the master plan” to fruition.

“We planted the Witness Tree in 2005 just to keep the idea alive,” Steiner said. “But there was nothing here, so for a while we had an arboretum with just a single tree in it.”

The Witness Tree brought in the money needed to continue the vision, and by 2009, the first phase of the gardens was complete.

Out of more than 360 acres, only about 6 or 7 are heavily developed, leaving plenty of room for new projects.

“We’re creating additional gardens and have plans for an education center, conservatory, planetarium, culture district, pollination gardens and many other things,” said Patrick Williams, director of development.

Open year round from dawn to dusk, the beauty of the arboretum draws in thousands every year, from students needing a quiet place to study to visitors from around the country.

“We try to make this little 6- or 7-acre plot look as beautiful as it can be with the resources we have, and I think we succeed at that,” Steiner said. “I think that’s what appeals to people.”

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