This week in Villanova History: April 23, 1993

University is named an official arboretum

By Melissa Lee

The University will become an official arboretum April 28, two days before the official celebration of Arbor Day.

After more than one year of planning, beginning Jan. 1, 1992, the daylong celebration will officially declare the University an arboretum, a place for the cultivation and examination of various species of trees and plants, said Charles Leeds, horticultural supervisor for the University’ Grounds Department.

This creation will provide educational opportunities for the botany, biology, engineering, and environmental science departments, enhance the University’s relationship with the community, provide direction and purpose with regards to the campus landscape and create lasting impressions upon prospective students and their parents, alumni, and other visitors to the University, said Leeds.

While there are no specific criteria for a site to be considered an arboretum, a suggested one is the labeling of different plant and tree species. Labels are already highly visible throughout the campus, added Leeds. The University also is working to increase the diversity of the specimens. With these two aspects in mind, education will be the primary focus of the arboretum at Villanova, Leeds added.

The numerous improvements that will be made on campus include the new planting and restoration of the grounds near the University’s Law School and the lawn of Fedigan Hall, said Leeds.