What is an arboretum?

An arboretum is a place where trees, shrubs and herbaceous plants are grown for scientific and educational purposes. Plants are maintained, labeled, cataloged and mapped. Each arboretum is unique, due to the characteristics of the setting, the collections, and the research and educational goals.

Our mission is to preserve the stately historic campus landscape, to build upon the diversity of the collection with sustainable species and to reinforce the aesthetic character of the campus. It seeks to provide visitors with a broader understanding of the campus landscape and promote long-term stewardship of the environment.

Arboretum Goals

  • Provide an aesthetically pleasing, diverse and accessible landscape conducive to academic study, recreation, meditation and visitor interest.
  • Identify future planting goals through landscape guidelines that visually and spatially reinforce the character of both artificial and natural environments on campus.
  • Develop the arboretum as an outdoor laboratory to provide opportunities for botany, biology and horticulture.
  • Preserve unique natural plant specimens of historic value.
  • Incorporate future plantings that are sustainable in Central New York, with an emphasis on native species.
  • Provide interpretive materials such as plant identification signs, maps and accession records.
  • Provide opportunities for partnerships with local plant organizations.

Arbor Day 2015

On April 27, 2015 the Hamilton College Arboretum and Clinton Elementary school celebrated Arbor Day. Two trees were dedicated - a Japanese lilac tree in honor of Lesley Urgo and a spruce tree in honor of Terry Hawkridge and Chris Lewis (shown here). Mrs. Urgo began the coordinated program in 2007. Mr. Hawkridge was former director of the Arboretum and Mr. Lewis is the director of the CCS physical plant.

Each year since 2007 a spruce tree has been donated to the school by the Arboretum. To date nine spruce trees have been given to form a "spruce row" behind  the  elementary school. These provide a nice wind and shade break for the building. The lilac will provide color and fragrance!

The school hosted a planting ceremony complete with two songs by the students and chorus. The dedications were given by Ann Smallen, volunteer on the Arboretum Committee and Steve Bellona, Director, Hamilton College Physical Plant.

At right - Principal Steve Marcus with Japanese Lilac planted in honor of Lesley Urgo

Contact Information


315-859-4892 315-859-4407 arboretum@hamilton.edu
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