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Arboretum’s Pollinator & Bird Garden To Open Starting June 28

Following nearly two years of construction, the Arboretum’s long-awaited Pollinator and Bird Garden will open next week.

Starting June 28, the new three-acre complex will open its gates to visitors as workers put on the finishing touches and wrap up planting. The “major” addition to the Arboretum’s H.O. Smith Botanic Gardens will result in a 60% increase to the center’s acreage of developed gardens.

The Pollinator and Bird Garden expectedly features a “bird blind” and honey bee observation hive. Additionally, two dead Table Mountain pine trees were harvested, mounted, and converted to serve as bird perches and feeders.

In a press release, Penn State said many parts of the new garden were designed to help attract native pollinators to campus.

“Emmanuel [Didier’s] design is a beautiful tapestry of hills, ponds, structures and gardens,” said Kim Steiner, Arboretum director “But beneath that beauty is a pallet of plants and soils chosen and crafted using the best science toward our goal of attracting a great variety of birds and insect pollinators. The garden is a marriage of really good design and really good science, and I think that makes it very interesting.”

Image courtesy of Penn State’s Codey Mathis

Volunteers were used to plant the “vast majority” of the garden’s 143,000 plants.

“Creating the garden has truly been a community effort,” said Shari Edelson, the Arboretum’s director of operations. “Over the course of construction, more than 620 people volunteered to help us plant. We can’t wait to welcome them — and the public —into this new space.”

Construction on the Pollinator and Bird Garden, which began fall 2019, was funded entirely through philanthropy. Penn State said nearly 500 individual donors helped fund the project.

The Pollinator and Bird Garden is located entirely within the Arboretum’s H.O. Smith Botanic Gardens, located at the corner of East Park Avenue and Bigler Road. The Arboretum is open from dawn to dusk and doesn’t charge for admission.

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About the Author

Matt DiSanto

Matt proudly served as Onward State’s managing editor for two years until graduating from Penn State with distinction in May 2022. Now, he’s off in the real world doing real things. Send him an email ([email protected]) or follow him on Twitter (@mattdisanto_) to stay in touch.

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