By Tony Baisley
Recently, we kicked off our immensely popular Winter Lights display – the sparkle behind our Winter in Bloom offerings. Last year, we set a record for attendance at Winter Lights with 40,000 visitors, confirming that the Arb does indeed have something to offer in every season. While we don’t charge visitors for Winter Lights, we do have our standard admission fee ($15), but all of our grounds remain free, at all times, to our members, as well as for children 15 and under.
On the heels of a holiday about gratitude, we thought we should take a moment to tell you just how grateful we are for all you make possible through your generosity and annual support. And, while we expect another wonderfully busy Winter Lights season ahead (through Sunday, Jan. 5), we are aware that this offering is just a sliver of who we are, and what we offer to our members and guests 363 days a year (closed on Thanksgiving and Christmas). Proud of our roots as an Arboretum, we strive to create a welcoming space to learn from and connect with nature. Perhaps it is apt to share with you more detail in the visual of a tree.
Here are the highlights:
- 92 percent of our budget is secured through memberships, donations and earned income.
- 2019 Best Botanical Garden (USA Today).
- 1,200 acres of botanical gardens featuring 20 displays and model landscapes; 28 gardens; 44 plant collections; and 105 works of art.
- 462,821 visitors last year; 26,369 member households.
- 1,045 volunteers, featuring 192 Auxiliary members.
- 2,404 Master Gardeners (volunteers).
- 48,843 youth and family participants engaged in Arboretum education programs.
- 161 new plant varieties introduced through research since 1920.
- 28 different apples brought to market, including Honeycrisp,
Zestar!®, Rave®/First Kiss®.
- 1 new Farm at the Arb, exploring the past, present and future of agriculture in Minnesota.
Thank you for supporting the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum and helping us grow in all that we are and have to offer. If you aren’t yet a member, please consider becoming one today. Sharing this post on social media is another way to show your support.