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Vassar College Arboretum

Photo by Tamar M. Thibodeau/Vassar College trees

Vassar College Arboretum


Trees have been integral to the culture of Vassar College from its beginning.  Founder Matthew Vassar personally aid out and supervised the initial plantings in 1865.  The Class of 1868 established their most enduring campus tradition when they planted a swamp white oak, the first class tree.  But it was not until 1925 that the efforts of world-renowned landscape architect Beatrix Ferrand led to formal recognition of their campus as an arboretum.  Today there are over 2200 trees on campus, 194 of which are arboretum specimens representing over 171 species.  Future development of the arboretum will continue to stress the educational and esthetic values of trees, but will also focus on environmental stewardship and carbon sequestration.  Visitors to their arboretum will also see the New World’s second oldest Shakespeare Garden (1916), which was constructed by Vassar students studying Shakespeare and Botany; and the Edith Roberts Outdoor Ecological Laboratory (1920), established to showcase native plant communities and the first of its kind.  Our 430 acre Vassar College Ecological Preserve, home to over 600 species of vascular plants, is adjacent to the main campus and accessible via several walking trails.

Accredited Arboretum Level II imagePhoto by Tamar M. Thibodeau/Vassar College Sycamore 1926 Tree
124 Raymond Avenue, Poughkeepsie, New York 12604, United States,
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