This forty-year retrospective of the UCSC Arboretum's development and growth is based on an exhibit at the Arboretum that opened in Fall, 2005; events that have taken place since that time are not reflected this retrospective.

 A history of the Arboretum

A vision takes root 

Dean McHenry photo

Dean McHenry poses for a magazine photo in the meadow above
the present site of the Arboretum

The history of the UCSC Arboretum is a tale of vision, energy, hard work and love. Many hands created an arboretum on the choicest site in a region famed for its horticultural potential. Some played large roles, such as the Founding Chancellor of UCSC, Dean McHenry.

But Chancellor McHenry was quick to credit others for their contributions: "The campus owes much to Ansel Adams, the great photographer and conservationist who took an extraordinary interest in the beauties of the Santa Cruz site."

Dean McHenry photo

Ansel Adams photograph of the UCSC campus
before construction started


Adams urged recognition of the special quality of the land. McHenry also praised architects Thomas Church and John Wagstaff for helping to shape the aesthetics of the site.

Dean McHenry photo

Founding chancellor Dean McHenry among the redwoods