The Connecticut College Arboretum is owned by Connecticut College and operated for the benefit of the College and the community. The Arboretum functions in support of the College's mission by helping to prepare people for a lifetime of learning about and interacting with the natural world. The mission of the Connecticut College Arboretum is:


To provide outdoor teaching, laboratory and performance space for use by faculty and students in all College departments and programs. In both teaching and research, the Arboretum is a unique and valuable academic resource and support facility.


To support and conduct research in a broad range of subjects, including ecology, field biology, geology, conservation, archeology, cultural and natural history, land management and others. Arboretum research emphasizes long-term studies.


Mallard Ducks in the water.

To provide stewardship of the College lands by protecting, sustaining, and enhancing biological diversity by means of large tracts of open space. The Arboretum also provides leadership statewide and beyond in conservation matters.


To maintain, develop, and interpret well-documented plant collections for teaching, research, public and professional education and enjoyment.

Stewardship of Cultural Resources

To provide stewardship of cultural resources on College lands by protecting, studying, and interpreting archaeological and heritage sites.

Someone reading a book outside.

Public Education

To provide programs and publications about conservation, horticulture, gardening, botany and natural history that enhance people’s understanding of the natural world and foster an understanding of the Arboretum’s mission.


To provide a place where people from the College and the community may enjoy passive recreation and where they may come to learn, reflect, and renew themselves through contact with the natural world. The Arboretum enhances the quality of life for the constituents of the College and the citizens of southeastern Connecticut.

Updated 2015


Mission Policies

Policies for each of the seven areas of mission activity were created by the Arboretum Director in consultation with College faculty in 2017 and are occasionally updated. They provide history, context, management guidance and goals for Arboretum staff, College community and the public. Links to the individual policies are available here: Teaching, ResearchConservation, Collections, Cultural Resource Stewardship, Public Education and Recreation.