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 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 Hamilton College Arboretum Association seeks Arboretum project sponsors from the Hamilton family of alumni, parents, and friends. Gifts at any level are welcome and will provide support for 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 catalogued 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 memories 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 principle 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, and, in particular, to 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. When you consider that it can take well over 100 years for a tree to reach 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 that resides at the juncture of the Root Glen garden and pathways.
Suggested donation: approximately $2,500 per large tree, for materials, labor, and installation. Gift also includes a permanent marker noting the funder. Endowment opportunities are also available in support of this initiative.
Tree Gifts and Contemplation Benches
Options include plaques at newly installed trees and benches bearing the name of the donor.
Suggested donation: $1,500 per tree; $2,400 per bench.