Arboretum Foundation Programs
Membership & Volunteer Programs
The Arboretum Foundation strives to increase the number of people who support the Arboretum through financial investment and volunteerism. The Arboretum Foundation has 1,500 active members, 29 volunteer Units, and over 500 volunteers who assist with plant sales and special events, run the giftshop, and care for plants in the Arboretum.
Funding Collections Maintenance, Environmental Learning, and Capital Projects
The Foundation fully funds the UW Arborist and Tree Care Program and the Education Program at Arboretum. The Foundation also funds a 3/4-time gardener to care for the new Pacific Connections Gardens. Each year the Foundation funds capital improvements to the collections as defined by the Washington Park Arboretum Master Plan. The current priority for capital funding is for the second phase of Pacific Connections, a multi-year campaign to redesign the southern 14 acres of the Arboretum into an ecogeographic horticultural exhibit.
The Foundation is the lead agency that advocates on behalf of the Arboretum. In recent years, the Foundation has advocated to reduce the impact on the Arboretum in the replacement of the 520 floating bridge, and is working closely with the City and State to that end.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
Since the adoption of the Arboretum Master Plan in 2001, the Arboretum Foundation has committed more than $4 million towards capital improvement projects in the Arboretum, including the Japanese Garden Entry Gatehouse (completed in 2009), the Gateway to Chile Garden (completed in 2010), and the New Zealand Forest (under construction).
One of the Foundation's current priorities is to help complete the new 14-acre Pacific Connections Garden at the south end of the Arboretum and create an endowment for its maintenance. The first of five major eco-geographic displays in the garden - the 2.5-acre New Zealand Forest - will be planted in summer 2013 and opened to the public in September 2013.
Since 2011, as part of the new Pacific Connections Garden Stewards initiative, the Foundation and its UW partner have recruited and trained more than 30 volunteers to help care for the new Garden.
Over the past several years, the Foundation has also been advocating strongly on behalf of Arboretum interests regarding the design and construction of the new SR 520 bridge. This culminated in the signing of an historic agreement in January 2013 between the Arboretum and WSDOT ensuring the implementation of key projects in the Arboretum's Master Plan as mitigation for the unavoidable effects of the upcoming bridge replacement. The agreement will secure upwards of $20 million in funds for shoreline restoration, the daylighting of Arboretum Creek, the construction of a new multi-use trail through the Arboretum, and more.