HIGH POINT, N.C., Dec. 23, 2013 – The Mariana H. Qubein Arboretum and Botanical Gardens at High Point University recently received $15,000 from the Stanley Smith Foundation to build a new, 2,000 square foot nursery on campus. The nursery will allow HPU to grow new plants for its gardens year round.
“We will have the ability to grow and cultivate plants, allowing us to bring in special plants from other collections, multiply ones we would like more of and share with the community,” says Jon Roethling, curator of the grounds at HPU. “I see this as a great tool to allow the gardens to do even more than they already do. For example, it will allow us to protect some tropical plants in the winter, so we can have even bigger and more impressive displays. Just imagine 15 foot tall banana plants.”
High Point University’s gardens have received consecutive “Tree Campus USA” designations from 2009 through 2013. Tree Campus USA is a national program created in 2008 to honor colleges and universities for effective campus forest management and for engaging staff and students in conservation goals. Currently, the campus includes 22 different themed gardens, many with an ornamental emphasis, such as a Culinary Herb Garden, Hardy Tropical Garden and Woodland Hillside Garden.
HPU’s gardens not only beautify the campus, but also serve as learning tools for various classes. Through courses such as environmental science, botany, plant taxonomy and more, students can calculate species diversity, profile trees and learn the characteristics of leaves, twigs, bark and reproductive qualities. The culinary herb garden also provides fresh materials for students who are studying medicinal plants.
The new nursery is scheduled to be completed in the fall.
The Stanley Smith Horticultural Trust supports education and research in ornamental horticulture, primarily in North and South America.