The University of California Santa Cruz Arboretum is a research and teaching facility.
The mission of the facility it to inspire stewardship and biodiversity through research, education, and conservation of rare plant species. The collection maintains a large collection of threatened plant life that is not otherwise available for study in American botanical gardens.
The location of the Arboretum is one of the most propitious horticultural sites in the world. The climate and diversity of soils allows the school to experiment with almost every species that can be grown along the coast from San Diego to Crescent City. In an effort to make the Arboretum more accessible for wider use and participation, Friends of the UC Santa Cruz Arboretum was formed in 1976. Members worked to raise funds and bring activities to the attention of the local community and educational systems. The group initially consisted of 113 members but has since grown to 800 members that work together to keep the facility running.
Lectures, symposiums, and plant sales are utilized to educate and inform students about the collections that are currently housed in the facility. Educational outreach programs start as early as preschool-aged children and include university students and the public at large.
Current program offerings include “Hummingbird Days,” a family-oriented program that celebrates the uniqueness of hummingbirds in nature. Not only does the event educate the public about these amazing birds, it also offers many opportunities for guests to see hummingbirds up close and personal.
Annually there are over 20,000 visitors that come to the Arboretum, making it one of the top 12 visited sites in the city. For the last 50+ years, with the help of volunteers and members, the garden has grown to over 145 acres. The success of the collections has established the facility as a leader in regional conservation at a time when the planet is facing unprecedented species loss and climate changes.
The Arboretum is located at UC Santa Cruz, 1156 High Street. Hours of operation are 9am-5pm, seven days a week. More information about the collection is available at arboretum.ucsc.edu or by calling 831-502-2998.