60 Years of the Arboretum in the Community

The University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum was created 60 years ago. In Arboretum terms, that’s 1,137 acres, 27 commercial apple varieties, 32 display and specialty gardens, 48 plant collections and 5,000 plant species and varieties ago.

Other Arboretum accomplishments are harder to quantify. How many gardening inspirations, how many research projects, how many bird sightings, how many educational opportunities, how many treasured memories?

The anniversary offers an occasion to reflect on six decades of the Arboretum’s growth, development and influence. In 1958, the Men’s Garden Club of Minneapolis, Lake Minnetonka Garden Club, Minnesota State Horticultural Society and other community supporters purchased 160 acres of land and gifted it to the University of Minnesota to create the Arboretum. The next year, the Arb counted 5,000 visitors.

Sixty years later, the Arboretum has grown by more than 1,000 acres. It was named Best Botanical Garden in the country in 2017 and runner-up in 2018 in the USA Today Readers’ Choice Awards. And it has about 100 times as many visitors each year.

See a timeline of the Arboretum's first 60 years!

Share a treasured memory of the Arboretum.

60th Anniversary Special Events

Thursday, June 21
Diamond Gala
A special evening of fun, music and entertainment--including diamond-esque surprises in a silent auction, live auction and more--in the grand setting of the Arboretum.

Monday, July 16
60th Anniversary Open House - Open to all! 
3-5 p.m., Morgan Terrace - Snyder Building
The public is invited to join in the Arboretum's 60th Anniversary celebration.

Short program with remarks from Peter Olin and special guests Jane Berens MacNaughton and John MacNaughton, who are celebrating their 60th wedding anniversary in conjunction with Arboretum diamond anniversary.

4-5pm: Entertainment: DixieLand Jazz Band (The Prairie Ramblers) performing in MacMillan Garden

4 pm, 5pm: Origami In the Gardens tours – start and depart from the Morgan Terrace

Food: Cake will be served to all attending. While supplies last

Sign the memory sharing posters! 

Member Appreciation Fest
5:30-8 p.m., Red Barn Farm/Bee Center - Enter through 82nd street entrance. 
Arboretum members are invited to enjoy an anniversary celebration created especially for them. 

Thursday, Sept. 13
Apple JAM, 7-10 p.m.
Live music, apple fun, cideries, food and more!  Enjoy a beautiful fall evening in nature and the outdoors.  Musical line-up, reservations and ticket information announced in early July.  Presented by the Star Tribune, media partner.

Select Weekend Apple Tastings
Rate test U of M apples for flavor, texture, appearance. Apple Tastings, 1-3 p.m., Sept. 29-30, Oct. 6-7..