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[Photo Story] Check Out The Arboretum’s New Pollinator & Bird Garden

Following nearly two years of construction, the Arboretum’s new Pollinator and Bird Garden has officially opened to the public. The new 3-acre complex provides a 60% increase to the center’s acreage of developed gardens.

With more than 143,000 plants, rustic “bee hotels,” and some beautiful scenery, the Pollinator and Bird Garden is already an incredible addition to the Arboretum. But why take just our word for it? Check out the new digs yourself thanks to our talented photo staff.

Now, perhaps the most significant element of any garden is a lovely water feature. Luckily, the Arboretum’s newest attraction boasts a vibrant pond surrounded by flowers, rocks, and the like. It’s quite serene.

Of course, no water feature would be complete without a way to cross it, right? The Pollinator and Bird Garden features a sleek wooden bridge with curved architecture that gives it the slightest modern twist.

There truly is no better place to spend a summer afternoon. These ladies lounged in the shade to escape Tuesday’s blistering heat.

Scattered through the garden are countless varieties of plants, including common shrubs, flowers, and nuts like hazelnuts and pecans. Heck, they’re even growing papyrus!

Shari Edelson, the Arboretum’s director of operations, said more than 620 volunteers helped plant the 140,000-plus throughout the spring and summer.

Sheesh — aren’t the flowers just beautiful? Here’s a look at some of our summertime favorites.

By now, I’m sure you’re screaming at your computer and wondering, “What about the pollinators and birds, Matt?!” Well, I’m getting there!

Pollinators at Penn State should feel right at home thanks to some nifty architecture. Three individual structures house dozens of straws, logs, and small hideaways for our black and yellow friends. Think of them like little bee hotels.

Although tough to quickly capture through our lenses, bees were buzzing in and out of these structures throughout our visit Tuesday. They had no trouble leaving their new digs to pollinate some nearby flowers, though.

This structure will one day serve as a honey bee observation hive.

The birds should feel right at home, too. New structures like these bad boys aim to give our taloned friends some new places to perch and hang at the Arboretum.

Plus, a new “bird blind” gives photographers the chance to snap some shots of feathered friends without fear of scaring them off. Well, that’s the goal at least.

Hey, who’s that handsome devil?

The Pollinator and Bird Garden likely won’t hit its peak until its grounds fully develop. But with hundreds of species already planted there, we’re sure it’ll be a hit in no time.

Well, what are you waiting for? Be sure to check the garden out for yourself this summer. Both parking and admission are free at the Arboretum. The Pollinator and Bird Garden is located within the Arboretum’s H.O. Smith Botanic Gardens at the corner of East Park Avenue and Bigler Road. It’s open from dawn to dusk, folks!

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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 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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