Adkins Arboretum

Adkins Arboretum

Adkins Arboretum, a 440-acre native garden and preserve, is located on Tuckahoe Creek and includes portions of one of the region's most significant forested wetlands.

Adkins Arboretum explores the environment of an upstream Bay tributary on the Eastern Shore and helps to promote the conservation and restoration of the Chesapeake Bay region's native landscapes. As a model for land management and ecological restoration, the Arboretum fosters community engagement and inspires the adoption of land stewardship practices for a healthier and more beautiful world. Natural areas contain the diversity of various stages of maturing forests and meadows.

At the Arboretum, you can celebrate the earliest blooms in spring of spicebush and shadbush, mid-summer's fragrant summer-sweet and fall's paw paw harvest. We are dedicated to the protection of the Delmarva Peninsula's natural heritage, the conservation of the region's indigenous flora and the preservation of open space and habitat for wildlife.

While the Arboretum’s 400 acres showcase its mission of land stewardship, its education programs are designed to inspired and guide both children and adults to explore and appreciate the region’s natural beauty and take action to contribute to the protection and enhancement of our backyards, neighborhoods, and communities.

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Image Credit: Adkins Arboretum / Chesapeake Bay Program

Activities

Four miles of trails are well maintained for nature lovers, hobbyists, students and tourists. Visitors can also view a new wetland exhibit and a demonstration garden introducing the home gardener to the ornamental aspects of native plants.

Education programs are offered to serve all ages, amateur botanists, conservationists, hikers, scouts, 4-H, seniors and garden clubs alike; programs include classes about ecology, native flora, horticulture and natural history, art exhibits, lectures, workshops, nature walks, and garden tours.

Call or visit the Arboretum web site for more information on classes and activities.

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History

Adkins Arboretum was originally planned in 1972 to be the Maryland state arboretum on the grounds of Tuckahoe State Park, a 4,000-acre park bordered by the Tuckahoe Creek in Caroline County, Maryland. In 1980, the Arboretum opened with a donation from its first benefactor, Leon Andrus, a native of Queen Anne's County. The Arboretum was named after the Adkins family of the Eastern Shore who were avid conservationists and longtime friends of Andrus. Andrus also established a private foundation, the Friends of Adkins Arboretum, to oversee the Arboretum's development. In 1989, Leon Andrus died at age 101, leaving a bequest to the Arboretum's endowment.

The Arboretum was founded with the mission of displaying all of the forest types found in Maryland. By the late 1990s, with a new mission in place to display and study the indigenous plant communities of the Delmarva Peninsula, the Friends of Adkins Arboretum proposed to the state that they manage the Arboretum. A public/private partnership was made official in 1998 with the state granting a 50-year lease to the Friends of Adkins Arboretum.

Today the Arboretum is self-supporting, receiving grants from federal and state agencies and from private foundations, as well as donations from members and income from program fees, gift shop, and plant sales.

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Last updated: November 22, 2019
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