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Agriculture and Environment

Penn State Arboretum's Pollinator & Bird Garden Opens To Public

Matt DiSanto

The Arboretum at Penn State opened its long-awaited Pollinator and Bird Garden to the public on Monday following nearly two years of construction.

The 3-acre addition, a decade in the making, increases the Arboretum’s H.O. Smith Botanic Gardens by 60%.

Forest biologist Kim Steiner, the Arboretum’s founding director, retired Wednesday following nearly 50 years at Penn State. He spent his final day at the garden and hopes you will, too.

"You can just stroll through here and enjoy the plants and the features, the ponds, and so on,” Steiner said. “Or you can look closely at what's going on with the flowers and the bees and the butterflies and so on and really get into it."

Credit Matt DiSanto / WPSU
New structures aim to give bees nesting spots in logs, straws, twigs, and more.

Among the Pollinator and Bird Garden’s new additions are several “bee hotels” that aim to attract pollinators with nesting spots.

Birds should feel at home thanks to the garden’s bird baths, feeders, and nesting boxes. Two dead Table Mountain pine trees were harvested and mounted to serve as perches, too.

Credit Matt DiSanto / WPSU
This structure will one day become an observational honey bee hive.

The garden boasts more than 140,000 plants scattered throughout its grounds. Shari Edelson, the Arboretum’s director of operations, said more than 620 volunteers helped plant them throughout the spring and summer.

Credit Penn State
This map shows the full layout of the new Pollinator and Bird Garden.

The Pollinator and Bird Garden is located entirely within the Arboretum's H.O. Smith Botanic Gardens at the corner of East Park Avenue and Bigler Road. Check out this map for the garden's full layout.

The Arboretum is open from dawn to dusk daily. Visitors don’t need to pay for admission or parking.