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Arboretum Growing

Arboretum (photo by Steve Williams)

A crowd of six hundred celebrated the April 25 formal opening of the H. O. Smith Botanic Gardens, the “front door” to 370 acres composing The Arboretum at Penn State.

The gardens and surrounding arboretum bordering the University Park campus along Park Avenue contain seventeen thousand plants representing seven hundred species and cultivars. Features include an esplanade flanked by annuals and perennials, a rose and fragrance garden, a lotus pool, a fountain, an overlook pavilion, and an event lawn and terrace.

The botanic gardens, designed by Pittsburgh’s MTR Landscape Architects, are named in honor of the late H. O. Smith, a State College contractor and real estate developer and 1920 Penn State alumnus. His son, 1948 University alumnus and local resident Charles H. “Skip” Smith, donated $10 million to launch construction of the Arboretum in November 2007. Several components of the gardens have been named to honor other members of the Smith family.

To see lots of pictures of the plants and flowers at the gardens visit a collection on Flickr.