The Arboretum Trail: From then to now ….
Published 7:46 pm Friday, May 20, 2022
Dr. Wayne Adams, a professor in the Biology Department, was instrumental in having the Arboretum developed. He used the area with his classes, and did some of the first plantings of new species on the property. He worked with President Ralph Adams to designate the property as an Arboretum in May of 1987.
Alvin Diamond was hired in February of 1988 as the first Arboretum director. The Arboretum was housed in the Center for Environmental Research and Service. Over seven miles of trails were developed including two half-mile long self-guiding nature trails, a pitcher plant bog, an orchid greenhouse, a wildflower meadow, and a bluebird nest box trail.
At that time, educational programs were provided for schools from throughout southeast Alabama and eventually the center was hosting 15,000-20,000 visitors each year.
In 1992, the Forest Resources Education Complex building was built with funding donated by the Alabama Forestry Commission, the Alabama Forest Resources Center, and numerous other donors.
In 1996, the University Physical Plant assumed responsibility for the upkeep of the Arboretum and Diamond was transferred to teaching in the Biology Department.
In 2021, the Arboretum was transferred back to the Biology Department. Since that time, Diamond, students and volunteers have worked to repair the building, reopen the trails, and clean up the Arboretum.
A Facebook Page has been established to share news about the Arboretum (Troy University Arboretum and Pocosin Nature Preserve https://www.facebook.com/troyarboretum/?ref=pages_you_manage ) and a fund raising page has been set up accept donations to help rejuvenate the Arboretum ( https://troy.scalefunder.com/cfund/project/31703 ). Diamond is also applying for grants to fund improving the trails and for educational programs.