Cal State Fullerton arboretum’s new name reflects its mission as a living laboratory – Orange County Register

The world-class, 26-acre arboretum located on the Cal State Fullerton campus recently received a new name to better match its mission and purpose.

The Cal State Fullerton Arboretum and Botanical Garden aims to support CSUF’s academic mission by serving as a living laboratory for the Titans of the university’s eight colleges. With a focus on education, research and conservation, the CSUF-owned arboretum offers unique opportunities for students and faculty in a one-of-a-kind setting.

“We work with all the colleges here,” Arboretum Director Greg Dyment said. “Whether it’s engineering, arts, natural sciences, it doesn’t matter what college, there are classes that meet here.”

Formerly an orange grove on the north end of the CSUF campus that had succumbed to disease and was originally intended to become a parking lot, the idea to convert the land into an arboretum was born in 1970 by Titan faculty and students . Through fundraising and community support, the idea came to fruition when the Fullerton Arboretum opened in October 1979.

In December 2020, the Arboretum transitioned from its 40-year joint powers agreement with the City of Fullerton to university governance as a fully integrated department within CSUF’s Extension and international programs.

Today, Titan students can be seen on the grounds of the Arboretum in a variety of areas, such as discovering methods to generate electricity through wind turbines, researching ways to divert and collect the water during rains or the installation of art exhibits for the public to view.

The Arboretum also hosts the Engaging Environmental Experiences (E3) internship program, a pathway for CSUF students to receive hands-on opportunities to train in science, conservation, and environmental education through real-world projects under the mentorship of Arboretum staff members. .

Spring at the Arboretum highlights the beauty of the facility’s landscaping. (Courtesy of CSUF News Media Services)

“We take very seriously this place, this Arboretum, which is the laboratory for all the colleges and all the students here at Cal State Fullerton,” said Dyment, who has served as Arboretum director for more than 27 years. years.

Along with its academic mission, the Arboretum also serves the broader Southern California community, where visitors can not only enjoy the beauty of the botanical garden, but also participate in programs supporting environmental education and conservation, many of which are organized by the Friends of the Fullerton Arboretum. , the nonprofit group that provides support through volunteers, education and events.

“When we look at the people who visit us daily and the people who are members, we see that we are meeting people who are not just from Fullerton,” Dyment said. “We get people from all over Orange County and all over the greater Los Angeles metropolitan area. So, with this name change, we are looking to expand our reach.

Visitors can enjoy the unique plant life that makes the Arboretum so special, including collections of native plants from places such as the Channel Islands and Galapagos Islands.

“Our collections are great,” Dyment said. “We have plants here that are found nowhere else except in their natural habitat. This speaks to the diversity we have within our collection.

Events to come

The Arboretum also hosts several community events throughout the year for residents to explore, shop and learn, including several spring activities that will be on the calendar for the coming months.

On April 18, the garden flea market will be open from noon to 4 p.m. on the orchard lawn. This event is planned and executed entirely by CSUF students specializing in event planning and management and will feature food trucks, music and a variety of items for sale by student vendors.

For those looking to jump-start their spring vegetable garden, VeggiePalooza will take place at the Arboretum on April 18 and 19 from noon to 4 p.m. and April 20 from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Guests can purchase a wide variety of vegetable plants, all grown in the Arboretum’s nursery. California native plants and other SoCal climate-friendly plants will also be available for sale. Additionally, monthly plant sales will take place this spring on May 4 and June 1.

Art lovers will be able to enjoy two different exhibitions this spring. “Symbiosis” will run from April 18 to May 12 from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. and will feature 18 colorful and whimsical environmental art installations in the Arboretum Garden. And the “Graphic & Interactive Design” exhibition, a thesis presentation by a CSUF Master of Fine Arts student, will be presented from April 29 to May 3 from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Nature Center.

Now in its 45th year, the Arboretum’s new name not only reflects its roots, but it moves forward in aligning with the university and further championing CSUF’s mission of environmental research and education for all.

“Our dream is for every student to come here,” Dyment said. “It’s our home and we hope they can all enjoy it.” Come here, learn here, recreate here and relax here.

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