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H.O. Smith Botanic Gardens in the Arboretum at Penn State

University Park, PA

Opened to the public in 2009, the H.O. Smith Botanic Gardens in the Arboretum at Penn State has become a place of beauty where students and community members can go for renewal, celebration, and discovery.

Our work on the project began with developing the Master Plan, the goal of which was to create vibrant educational center and a first-class amenity contributing to the quality of life on campus and enhancing the image of the University. Pashek + MTR Principal Missy Marshall led a multi-disciplinary design team throughout implementation of the $6 million Phase One project.

The first phase of development established the Arboretum’s presence along a major campus thoroughfare and protected valuable groundwater resources. Event spaces were developed throughout the Gardens to maximize opportunities for generating revenue and to provide new venues for University gatherings. We worked with PSU faculty to develop planting themes that are not only beautiful, but also teach concepts such as taxonomic families and plant evolution.

Pashek + MTR continues to work with the Arboretum to expand their offerings in keeping with the Master Plan. We have completed conceptual design of the Pollinator’s Garden, which will be the public outreach component of PSU’s Pollinator Research Program. We also have prepared designs for two additional gardens, an expansion of the Fountain Garden, and the Bird Garden learning landscape. The Botanic Gardens have become a popular destination on campus, and continue to grow successfully year after year.