The Arboretum at Penn State

What’s New?

Construction of New Pollinator and Bird Garden Underway!

Pond with Stone Terrace and Boardwalk

Working with a large team of Penn State-based and outside experts, including Penn State’s Center for Pollinator Research, we have designed a garden that encourages ecological diversity by incorporating habitats such as a pond, wetlands, woodland, and dry meadow. To attract all of our region’s insect pollinator species and the broadest range of resident and migratory birds, the new garden will showcase over 390 unique plant species and varieties—most of which are native to Pennsylvania or the greater Appalachian region.

Check back in the months ahead for updates!

Summer Photo Contest – Winners Announced!

1st Place Summer 2020 Photo Contest Chuck Fong

1st Place Summer 2020 Photo Contest – Chuck Fong

Thank you to everyone who entered our Summer Photo Contest! There were so many outstanding entries that we ranked the top six, all of which are in our Seasonal Images album on our home page.

1st Place – Chuck Fong
2nd Place – Donna Matthews
3rd Place – Jishnu Bhatt
4th Place – Ruth Merritt
5th Place – Erin Goodling
6th Place – Jubilee Young

Our Autumn Photo Contest has already begun! You may submit a photo taken during a previous autumn 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

Contest winners will be featured in our Seasonal Images album, social media, and in our newsletter.

Visiting the Arboretum

The H.O. Smith Botanic Gardens may be visited from dawn until dusk. When in the Arboretum, please follow guidelines for social distancing (staying 6′ away from other visitors) and wear a mask.

In compliance with University directives to mitigate the spread of the novel coronavirus, most activities and events, including rentals, are currently suspended.

Parking Regulations Reminder

Normal campus parking regulations resumed for all campus parking areas and users (faculty, staff, students, visitors) on Monday, July 6. On weekdays from 7:00 a.m. until 5:00 p.m. you can get a (free) parking permit to hang from your vehicle’s rear-view mirror at the office in the Overlook Pavilion.

Arboretum T-Shirts For Sale



Planting Volunteers Needed in New Pollinator and Bird Garden

Please help us create the diverse habitats of our new Pollinator and Bird Garden this fall. We need volunteers to plant more than 90,000 plants to make this wonderful new garden a reality!

Pollinator and Bird Garden Volunteer Flyer

All details are also available on our Facebook page at

Pumpkin Festival and Winter Celebration Not Being Held in 2020

Because of continuing concerns about transmission of COVID-19, the Arboretum will regrettably not be hosting the Pumpkin Festival or Winter Celebration in 2020. We look forward to resuming these annual events when it is safe to do so.

We Hope You Enjoy Our “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

Virtual Visit to Childhood’s Gate Children’s Garden – WPSU’s Virtual Summer Camps 

Join Carolyn Donaldson on a walk through our children’s garden with Linda Duerr, former coordinator of children’s educational programs.

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

2020 Spring Arboretum Newsletter

2020 Spring Arboretum Volunteer Update

2019 Autumn Arboretum Newsletter

Events Calendar

Pictured at the top of the page is a jogger heading toward the gardens on the boardwalk dedicated to the Arboretum as the 2010 senior class gift.