The Fullerton Arboretum is a 26-acre (11 hectare) botanical garden in Fullerton, California, containing a variety of plants from throughout the world. It is located on the northeast corner of the California State University, Fullerton campus. It is Orange County’s biggest botanical garden, with a collection of over 4,000 plants. The Arboretum protects extinct or near-extinct species and acts as a learning center for agricultural history.
The garden trails of the Arboretum go through four primary collections: Cultivated, Woodlands, Mediterranean, and Desert Collections. Southern California natural vegetation, a Rare Fruit Grove, an 11,000 sq ft (1,000 m2) organic vegetable garden, historic Citrus and Avocados, Channel Islands Garden, an enormous Cycad Collection, Conifer Collection, Palm Grove, Community Gardens, and a Children’s Garden are among the highlights.
The Arboretum allows individuals to teach and learn about the environment. They collect information through collaborating with students and staff from various campus departments. The findings of the research are disseminated across Orange County.
Drs. David Walkington and Eugene Jones came up with the idea of establishing an arboretum on the campus of Orange State College, afterwards renamed California State University Fullerton. Teri Jones and other faculty spouses collaborated to get support for transforming the area into an arboretum.
In 1971, the Associated Students of Cal State College began supporting the project. Students and staff collaborated to use the property for organic gardening plots in order to demonstrate the environmental benefits of organic agriculture. The trees were felled and their roots were removed.
The notion of reserving the property for a botanical garden arose around 1972. The Arboretum Society was founded, and they began fundraising on campus in order to establish a botanical garden. In an effort to secure formal community support for the project, they also urged the City of Fullerton to aid with the future Fullerton Arboretum. The California State University system’s Trustees authorized the development of the botanical garden at California State University, Fullerton, and allocated 26 acres of land for the project.
The Arboretum Society formed a club named the Friends of Fullerton Arboretum the following year to begin construction. The Friends group grew into a tax-exempt, non-profit corporation that helped generate finances for the project and is still active today.
In 1976, an architectural firm was contracted to provide designs for the arboretum. The contractors for the project were allocated $621,000 in October 1977 to commence construction.
The ceremonial groundbreaking ceremony took held on December 11, 1977. On October 21, 1979, the official opening ceremony took place.
Next Point of Interest: Muckenthaler Cultural Center