The University of Rochester will officially designate portions of the River Campus as an arboretum at 10 a.m. Friday, Oct. 6, on Wilson Quadrangle, continuing a long-standing arboricultural legacy in the Rochester area. The ceremony will feature Barber Conable, former U.S. congressman and former president of the World Bank. During the ceremony, a large Paperbark Maple will be planted behind Lattimore Hall on Wilson Quadrangle.
A special tree tour map, which will be available to the public, will guide visitors to 61 species of deciduous trees as well as 12 types of conifers extending from Elmwood Avenue to the end of Wilson Boulevard. Many other trees cover the River Campus, including some planted in the 1920s.
The arboretum exemplifies the University's commitment to reinforce and preserve the historic beauty of the campus and celebrate the heritage of the area. Portions of the city and the Mt. Hope campus of the University still offer specimens of the Ellwanger and Barry Nursery, the largest nursery of its type at the turn of the 20th century, which left a lasting impression on Rochester.
The arboretum is a fitting companion to the beauty of the River Walk, a design of 197 oak trees along the Genesee River, envisioned by Frederick Law Olmstead and incorporated into the River Campus when land for it was purchased in 1923. In recent years, this area was sold to the city to establish more public parkland along the river, but remains adjacent to the campus.
As part of an ongoing progressive grounds management program at the University, the arboretum will create further opportunities for the study of native plant species and encourage education about regional horticulture while promoting interest and support for the University and the arboretum.
Graham Wood Smith, a member of the University's Board of Trustees since 1991, served as chairman of the University Arboretum Committee. Smith has generously supported many campus landscaping initiatives over the years, most recently contributing to the construction of Dandelion Square, a beautiful pathway connecting the River Campus' new Robert B. Goergen Athletic Center with the Frederick Douglass Building and Wilson Commons.