Behind the spectacular views and inspirational vistas, the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum boasts some impressive numbers: hundreds of hours of acclaimed educational programs each year, thousands of colorful blooms and millions of dollars worth of fruit and vegetable research. It all adds up to a growing and vibrant nationally and internationally renowned institution.
The Arboretum relies on the generosity of the community to fund its operation and to ensure its ability to educate, inspire and reach out to people across the state. Benefactors who donate anywhere from $15 to $15,000,000 are making the Arboretum thrive.
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Minnesota Landscape Arboretum
3675 Arboretum Drive
Chaska, MN 55318-9613
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For nearly half a century, the Arboretum has held a special place in the hearts of George and Mary Lou Klacan. Their keen interest into the work of the Arboretum led the Klacans to establish an endowment for student internships in pest management.
A job at Green Giant brought the Klacans to Minnesota in 1965. Even as George's work in pest management took him around the world, he and Mary Lou raised four children, who grew up enjoying the beauty of the Arboretum, its then 160 acres and one picnic table. George served as a volunteer trustee on the Arboretum Foundation Board. In 2009, George yearned to get back to his roots and volunteer in the gardens.
"I snapped him up in a minute," recalled Don Miller, the Arboretum's plant health specialist who supervises the work of students and volunteers for integrated pest management practices. "George shows a genuine interest in what our students are doing and learning." Miller found a kindred spirit and fellow agronomist in Klacan, who volunteered in scouting and treating pest problems, maintaining research plots and helping on restoration projects.
The Klacan's lifelong support for the Arboretum is a family commitment--both volunteer at the Andersen Horticultural Library, attend Gala in the Gardens and Toast & Taste, and recently toured Scotland (pictured) with Peter Olin, director emeritus. But for Jenny Sirota, 2013 student intern, and for future interns, the Klacan's support is life-changing as they begin their careers.