The Arboretum, in Coconino County,
is a 200-acre arboretum that is home to 2,500 species of mostly drought-tolerant adapted and native plants representative of the high-desert Colorado Plateau, home to Grand Canyon and Zion National Park. It is located 3.8 miles (6.1 km) south of U.S. Route 66 on Woody Mountain Road, West of Flagstaff, Arizona. The facility is located at 7,150′ in elevation, making it one of the highest-elevation public gardens in the United States. The Arboretum is known for its extensive collection of the genus Penstemon.
The Arboretum was originally forest and a working ranch, and the home of Frances McAllister in the late 1960s. In 1981 she began her long-held dream of creating an arboretum when she donated the land and created its financial endowment.
The Arboretum is a unique destination, specializing in plants native to the high elevation habitat of northern Arizona; open May through October, six days a week (closed Tuesdays).
Many improvements are underway and they are making plans for an exciting 2014 season.
The Colorado Plateau is home to 6,000 plant species, 34 of which are federally listed as threatened or endangered; many others are considered rare. This region is unique because federal agencies manage 55 percent of the land area.
The Arboretum has developed strong working relationships with local land managers and scientists to research, restore, and recover species found in this unique environment.
The Arboretum is a charter member of the Center for Plant Conservation and currently cares for 30 national collection plant species. The Research Department seeks to conserve these species using ex-situ (off-site) propagation, seed storage, and monitoring methods.
All of these efforts require help from a strong core of volunteers, without which they would fail to meet their conservation goals.
To restore regional native landscapes, they need local seeds and the knowledge to grow them. The Research Department participates in the Seeds of Success Program sponsored by the Bureau of Land Management and plays a leading role in the Northern Arizona Native Seed Alliance (NANSA).
Located on The Arboretum grounds, Merriam-Powell Research Station enables land managers and scientists from far and wide an affordable means to come examine the unique flora and fauna of the Colorado Plateau.