The Arboretum at Penn State

What’s Afoot?

Fall Foliage Video

WPSU explains the reason behind the lack of fall foliage this year:

Foliage in Central Pennsylvania

Are you underwhelmed with the foliage colors this year too? Watch this video to understand why the fall colors in Central Pennsylvania were not as impressive this year!Have foliage photos to share in your area? Share in comments below!

Posted by WPSU on Monday, October 29, 2018


Pumpkin Festival 

Some of the winning entries at the 2018 Pumpkin Festival

Some of the winning entries at the 2018 Pumpkin Festival – Photo by Andrew Vargo

Thanks to all of those who entered our jack-o’-lantern contest in the eighth annual Pumpkin Festival. The winners are shown on our Facebook page.






Autumn Photo Contest

Milkweed seed pod starting dehiscence - Photo taken by Ruth Merritt in the field behind the Overlook Pavilion in the Arboretum

Milkweed seed pod – Photo by Ruth Merritt

We look forward to seeing your entries in our autumn photo contest. Please submit photos (one per person, please) via email, Facebook, or Instagram by October 31. Contest winners will be featured in our Seasonal Images album, on Facebook, and in our newsletter.

See the winners of our Summer 2018 photo contest in our October newsletter.

Arboretum Photo Contest Rules 2018



Gift from Skip Smith and Sons to Create Bird Garden

Charles H. “Skip” Smith, the Penn State alumnus and philanthropist whose giving has fueled the creation and supported the growth of the Arboretum, has made a major new gift to enrich this University resource. Smith and his sons, David, Jeffry and John, have committed more than $1.8 million to launch construction of the Bird Garden in the Arboretum, which will be designed to attract birds year-round and educate the Arboretum’s many visitors. Construction is expected to begin in 2019.

Avian Education Program

2018 Fall Bird Banding Summary Report

Arboretum T-Shirts For Sale

Men's Crewneck Ginseng Virtual Image (adult sizes only)

Men’s Crewneck Ginseng

The Arboretum is offering T-shirts for sale in several styles. The shirts cost $20 for adults (all designs) and $15 for children (bison, hellbender, and hummingbird only). Please see the descriptions and images of the designs.


Pycnanthemum muticum (mountain-mint)

Pycnanthemum muticum (mountain-mint)

Seniors Choose Pollinators’ Garden Gate as 2019 Class Gift

The Class of 2019 selected an entry gate to The Arboretum at Penn State’s new Pollinators’ Garden. Construction on the garden is slated to begin early next year.

“In choosing to enhance the Pollinators’ Garden with an entry gate, the Class of 2019 has expressed its deepest commitments to sustainability, to the environment and to making Penn State an even more beautiful place to work, live and study,” Tom Beeby, executive director of the 2019 Class Gift Campaign, said.


Generous Gifts for Pollinators’ Garden to Fund Construction 

Hummingbird feeding - Photo by Jason Traverse

Hummingbird feeding – Photo by Jason Traverse

Penn State alumnus and leading philanthropist Charles H. “Skip” Smith has made a series of gifts totaling $4.5 million to support construction of a new and enhanced Pollinators’ Garden in the H.O. Smith Botanic Gardens. Galen Dreibelbis, a commercial and residential real estate developer, and his wife, Nancy, also recently committed $1 million to support construction of the expanded Pollinators’ Garden. Their gift — together with the major investment by Skip Smith and gifts from other donors — completes the project’s initial fundraising goal. Construction could begin in 2019.


Group Visits

If you wish to bring a group to visit the Arboretum, please use our on-line form to inquire about tours and schedule your visit.

Group Visitor Inquiry Form

Arboretum Newsletters

2018 October Arboretum Newsletter

2018 August Arboretum Volunteer Update

2018 April Arboretum Newsletter

Upcoming Activities

Fall 2018 Gerhold Wildflower Trail Volunteer Days Flyer

Winter Celebration – December 7 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
H.O. Smith Botanic Gardens

Events Calendar

Pictured at the top of the page is the “black-light” dragon painted on the wall of the Limestone Cave in Childhood’s Gate Children’s Garden for the annual Pumpkin Festival.