The Arboretum at Penn State

What’s New?

Summer 2022: Arboretum / OPP Landscape Internships

The Office of Physical Plant and The Arboretum at Penn State are offering paid ($12/hour) internships for Penn State students interested in career paths in horticulture and related disciplines. Interns will learn horticultural and grounds management practices in a public garden setting, working side by side with Arboretum staff to manage day-to-day garden operations throughout the growing season. More details are available on our Employment web page at

Visiting the Arboretum – COVID-19 Safety Requirements

The H.O. Smith Botanic Gardens may be visited from dawn until dusk. Arboretum visitors must follow University COVID-19 safety requirements. Masks are now required indoors for both vaccinated and unvaccinated visitors on campus. By attending or participating in Arboretum programs, events, or activities, visitors agree to adhere to Penn State’s guidance and policies, acknowledge the risk of being exposed to or infected by COVID-19, and assume any and all such risk.

COVID Acknowledgment Policy Statement


Visitor parking is available in the Lewis Katz Building lot, just across Bigler Road from the former Arboretum lot.

To park in the Katz lot, Arboretum visitors who do not hold a Penn State parking permit that is valid in an Orange lot must pay a fee of $1/hour. Payment may be made via the pay station in the Katz Building lot via credit card, or via the ParkMobile app, which is also available for use in many other parking lots on campus. Visitors may download the ParkMobile app or visit ParkMobile’s Penn State site to learn more. Parking fees apply 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Additional details are available on our Visitor Information page.

Summer Photo Contest Winners Announced 

sky and plants reflected in pond

1st Place Summer 2021 – Angelina Starck

Thank you to everyone who submitted an entry in the Summer Photo Contest. There were many excellent entries! The winners are listed below:

1st Place – Angelina Starck
2nd Place – Bea Strelow
3rd Place – Audra Hixson

Autumn Photo Contest Underway

You may submit a photo taken this fall during a previous fall in the Arboretum (one entry per person, please). Submissions will be accepted via email, Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter until November 30. Be sure to read the contest rules:

Arboretum Photo Contest Rules

Arboretum T-Shirts For Sale



New Pollinator and Bird Garden: Combining Education and Research  

Wild Bee Hotel in the Pollinator and Bird Garden

Wild Bee Hotel in the Pollinator and Bird Garden

View a short video about this garden. This new garden space, which increases the acreage of developed gardens by over 60%, is unique in its ambitious design and intent: to educate the public about all of our region’s insect pollinator species and the broad range of resident and migratory birds. Sections of the garden will also be used for research to help us better understand and protect the ecosystems that support these species. The planting design showcases over 390 unique plant species and varieties—most of which are native to Pennsylvania or the greater Appalachian region. Ecological diversity has been encouraged by incorporating habitats such as a pond, wetlands, woodland, and dry meadow.

Construction of the Pollinator and Bird Garden was funded entirely through philanthropy. Nearly 500 individual donors contributed financial gifts toward the project. You can take a look at scenes in the new garden at Over the course of construction, over 620 people volunteered to help us install the vast majority of the 143,000 plants in the garden. Read about community involvement in planting the Pollinator and Bird Garden at

Winterizing Bee Hives

Preparing Hives for Winter

Winterizing Observation Hives in Pollinator and Bird Garden

To prepare the hives for cold winter temperatures, Kate Anton and Natalie Boyle replaced the glass hive bodies with solid wood hive bodies. They also fed the bees sugar syrup and treated them with an oxalic acid dribble using a syringe. Oxalic acid is an organic varroa mite treatment – it is effective at killing mites that are on adult bees and is best applied late in the fall after the bees have stopped rearing brood. Treatments this time of year help mite levels to remain low in the spring. Beekeepers use several techniques to prevent and treat varroa mites year-round.

Honey bee workers (all female) and their queen will overwinter in a cluster, keeping each other warm and feeding from their honey stores.

“Garden Wonderings” Videos 
Garden Wonderings is an informal educational video series that we have put together during the COVID-19 pandemic to entertain and inform the public during these unusual times. You can access the playlist of all Arboretum educational videos at


Events Calendar

Arboretum Newsletters

2021 Autumn Arboretum Newsletter

2021 Fall Volunteer Update

Featured at the top of the page is a scene from a past autumn season in Childhood’s Gate Children’s Garden.