Posts tagged ‘Stacy Levy’

A Sneak Preview of the Arboretum

DSC_0389 sm Richard Johnson

Arboretum horticulturist Rick Johnson ’82

The Alumni Association staff today got a tour of the Arboretum at Penn State, which is still being developed but which is lot farther along than any of us imagined. It’s a 370-acre chunk of land across Park Avenue from the new Business and Forest Resources Buildings—or, for those of you who haven’t been back to campus in a while, it’s across Park Avenue from what used to be Parking Lot 80.

Our guide was Richard Johnson ’82, shown above; he’s the horticulturist for the Arboretum. (By the way, he’ll be featured on the Everyday People page of our September-October issue.) He showed us the stuff that’s already been planted or constructed and the stuff that’s still to come. In the “still to come” category is some impressive stuff, including an education center, a rose garden, a medieval garden, and a 10,000-square-foot glass conservatory. When it’s all finished, it should be amazing.

DSC_0411 sm fountain crowdRick showed us a big fountain that’s being installed (see photo at right)—although it won’t be called a fountain. It’s the “Margery Enes Smith Soaring Waters.” It’ll shoot jets from four to 15 feet in the air and be illuminated at night.

DSC_0399 sm water lilyI was also excited to see that there’s a lily pond—in bloom. Water lilies are extremely fun to photograph, as you can see at right. The lilies were a gift from George Griffith ’56, who owns a big garden center in Johnstown, Pa. He plans to donate more lilies—and some lotus, another showy aquatic plant—when things are farther along.

DSC_0361 sm water mapUp at the Overlook Pavilion, which is already finished, we saw thing called a “water map,” a form of public sculpture, essentially. It was done by Stacy Levy, a world-class artist who happens to live in Centre County. It shows the area’s watershed, complete with streams, water towers, and the like. And when it rains, the runoff flows over the water map in a way that mimics what really happens in the local watershed.

The Arboretum isn’t officially open yet. It’ll be dedicated next April during Blue-White Weekend, and I think that construction will continue for several years beyond that—I get the impression that they’re doing things as funds permit. (The Arboretum is relying heavily on private funding, and got a big boost two years ago with a $10 million gift from Skip Smith of State College.)

Arboretum master planFinally, here’s a map of the whole Arboretum—current and planned. Click on it to see it bigger and in more detail. Same goes for any of the photos here.

Tina Hay, editor

July 17, 2009 at 5:05 pm Leave a comment

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