The Wayne State College Arboretum is a Teaching and Community Arboretum located on the Wayne State College Campus.
Wayne State College began as Professor Pile’s College in 1891 and became Nebraska Normal School in 1910. The campus consisted of 25 acres at that time and had grown to 128 acres when it was named Wayne State College in 1963. Steps to become affiliated with the Nebraska Statewide Arboretum began in 1976. The Wayne State College “Tree Committee” was granted status as a “Teaching and Community Arboretum” in July 1977. The Wayne State College Arboretum was formally dedicated in a ceremony on October 20, 1977, with Dr. Charles R. Maier as acting curator.
The purpose of the Wayne State College lies in three main areas: realizing the aesthetic value attached to landscape and ornamental plant placement; the educational aspects of learning habitat and identification of trees, shrubs, forbs and grasses; and the practical value of observing demonstrations of size, habit, survival, placement, and floristic traits of a given species.
An initial inventory of the Wayne State College Arboretum in 1976 listed 87 species of trees and shrubs. Today the inventory consists of over 280 species, cultivars and varieties of trees and shrubs. The Campus also has many ornamental plantings with the focus being sustainable landscapes using Nebraska natives.
The Wayne State College Arboretum serves as a living educational resource for the regions residents and students by providing:
- a sustainable landscape focusing on native Nebraska plant communities;
- a diversity of plant materials;
- a living resource which meets the educational purposes of the College; and
- a visually pleasing aesthetic.