Message From the Director


At a time when many people have suffered great loss, and when everyone has had to adjust to pandemic living, it is inspiring to witness our students brimming with youthful enthusiasm.  Like most other programs at UCF, the Arboretum has had to make significant changes in the way we run and operate our programs, but we have not strayed from our core mission and values.  Paramount among those values is the value we place on our students, not only for their individual strengths and contributions, but for their shared potential to make a larger positive impact on our world.  For those who have had to work mostly remotely for the past year, it might be hard to imagine that the Arboretum has continued to be abuzz with activity and progress.  It is amazing to look back over that time and see how much we have accomplished, mostly thanks to our students.

I am writing this message the day after one of our monthly plant sales.  These sales have been a huge success and they are bringing in substantial revenue, which will enable us to expand our program.  This incredible success is due entirely to our student co-coordinators, who started the sales a few years ago, and who have steadily improved them with successive generations of leadership.  Thanks to the success of those sales, the Arboretum is planning to establish a new plant nursery on the former site of the community garden, which was moved from that location during construction of new cell phone tower.  The nursery will geometrically increase our plant propagation and production capability, and will enable us to host larger plant sales, including to the outside community.  New student co-coordinators will lead this effort, and we hope to have the resources to establish the nursery and hire them by this fall.

Our student spotlight features another new student leadership team that is making phenomenal contributions to our program.  Vince Marcucci was our first film and social meeting co-coordinator.  We have had other students in the past who did great work with social media and photography, but we now have a small production team led by film majors.  You can see an example of their outstanding work in the short film on our farm and garden team, which is featured in this newsletter.  Stay tuned for more to come!

We look forward to the time when we can return more normal operations and when more volunteers, visitors, and community members can be involved with our program.  In the meantime, you can keep up with our program through social media, and we hope you will have a chance to stop by for a visit.

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