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Arboretum To Extend Pollinator’s Garden Thanks To Major Gifts

Construction is set to begin on a new, extended Pollinators’ Garden in Penn State’s Arboretum, thanks in part to a $4.5 million donation from philanthropist and Penn State alumnus Charles H. “Skip” Smith. State College real estate developer Galen Dreibelbis, and his wife, Nancy, have also committed $1 million to support the project. The garden will provide a hospitable environment for native pollinator species of birds and insects.

The Arboretum already features a small Pollinator’s Garden, but the university plans to create a larger, expanded version that will facilitate further research and attract additional species. Smith’s gift and contributions from other donors allowed the project to reach its fundraising goal of $5.3 million.

Smith is a current State College resident and graduated from Penn State in 1948 with a degree in electrical engineering. He also donated to the initial Arboretum construction effort in 2010.

“It’s a pleasure now to support the construction of a new pollinators’ garden that will be a haven to birds, bees, and visitors alike, and I hope that this new space — like the Arboretum as a whole — will offer tranquility for all who visit,” Smith said in a release.

The garden will allow researchers to learn more about the ecological relationships between Centre County pollinators and plants, according to Director of the Arboretum and Professor of Forest Biology Kim Steiner. Steiner added that the garden will also help researchers to develop “an understanding of how to counteract declining populations of native pollinators.”

“Nancy and I have long been committed to strengthening the State College community that we call home, and the Arboretum is a tremendous resource for this community,” Galen Dreibelbis said in a release. “With this gift to support construction of the Pollinators’ Garden, we hope to make the Arboretum an even richer destination for our fellow residents to enjoy for years to come.”

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About the Author

Jack Hargraves-Dix

Jack is a senior English major and Film Studies minor and a staff writer for Onward State. He is from Lawrenceville, NJ located just outside Princeton in the very real Central Jersey area. He loves classic rock and watching movies. He hopes to be a screenwriter one day but in the mean time he loves writing about Penn State. Email him at [email protected]

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