The Hamilton College Arboretum Association’s mission is multi-layered: to preserve Hamilton’s stately historic campus landscape, to further diversify its collection with sustainable species, to reinforce the aesthetic character of the campus, to provide visitors with a broader understanding of the campus landscape, and to promote long-term stewardship of the environment.

The Hamilton College Arboretum Association sponsors a variety of educational workshops and presentations open both to the Hamilton community and to the residents of Central New York. As part of its mission, the Arboretum Association seeks Arboretum project sponsors from the Hamilton family of alumni, parents, and friends. Gifts at any level are welcome and will support ongoing initiatives, including educational programs and activities.

Current Priorities for the Arboretum

Expansion of the Tree and Shrub Identification System

Only a small percentage of the more than 3,000 cataloged campus trees and shrubs are identified with permanent markers and noted on the official campus map. Markers indicate the plant species and, when appropriate, the persons in whose memory they were planted, or the generosity of donors. A true arboretum is a place of learning, where plants are identified in order to teach and inspire those who visit the landscape. Hamilton College seeks to document all of its principal trees and shrubs in this way, in order to create a learning environment conducive to contemplation and wonder.
Suggested donation: $500 and upwards

Lightning Protection for Notable Campus Trees

In the past five years, numerous key specimen trees on campus have been lost to storm damage, particularly lightning strikes. Lightning can kill a tree, yet this damage is avoidable. Copper cabling and the creation of a ground wire system can virtually eliminate this potentially fatal threat to our major campus trees. Considering that it can take well over 100 years for a tree to reach an impressive size and stature, the cost to protect such an investment in nature is minor indeed. To date, we have, with the help of the State of New York (through a 2007 grant from the Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation), protected our national champion Norway Spruce, which resides at the juncture of the Root Glen garden and pathways.

Suggested donation: approximately $2,500 per large tree, for materials, labor, and installation. The gift also includes a permanent marker noting the funder. Endowment opportunities are also available in support of this initiative.




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