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 crisis developed in 1994. Budget problems in the UC system forced the Arboretum out of the Natural Sciences Division. State funding was cut to the bone, and the Arboretum again became a part of the Chancellor's office. The University planned to phase out support over the next five years: from $100,000 in 1995 to zero by 2000.
Arboretum Associates and staff had to create an endowment and raise funds to keep the gardens from declining. The emphasis shifted from plant collection toward public outreach and revenue creation. In September, 1994, the Arboretum sponsored a second overseas botanical tour to Australia. With an immediate need for income, plans to open a retail outlet were accelerated and Norrie's gift shop opened in 1994. (See Norrie's, A Labor of Love)
Director Daniel Harder in Africa...
...and at the Arboretum
Fortunately, the David Packard Foundation provided a three-year grant (from 1997 to December 2000), which helped the Arboretum weather the loss of funds. On December 31, 1997, Collett resigned. Ron Enomoto was appointed interim Director and served until February 2000. In October of 2001, after a nationwide search launched by the University and Arboretum Associates, Chancellor M.R.C. Greenwood appointed Dr. Daniel Harder as Director. The Arboretum is now assigned to the Vice Chancellor of Academic Affairs.
Students studying the Australian collection
Harder continues the work—begun under Collett—of building strong collections of rare and endangered plants. But he also tries to focus on education and on forging ties to the community and the university. The Associates continue to support the Arboretum through time, ideas and their generosity. Together, the Director, the staff, the University and the Arboretum Associates look toward the next 40 years with the same optimism as their predecessors. Vision, energy, and hard work are tempered by love of plants and those who tend them.
Sept. 2003: Education exhibit
at the Santa Cruz County Fair
Brett Hall discussing botany with
some young plant lovers