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Goals and Objectives

Goal 1: To provide a diverse, well-maintained, and well-documented collection of woody plants hardy to the Allegheny Plateau.

The Indiana University of Pennsylvania campus holds a very limited woody plant collection. A few species (four) account for a surprisingly large share (52.4 percent) of the campus tree inventory. The existing inventory is distinguished not only by its lack of diversity but by its lack of character and seasonal interest (consider the large ad nauseum collection of Red Twig Dogwood, Yew, Canadian Hemlock, and Pin Oak). A considerable portion of this inventory is also marked by short-lived species prone to various pests and pathogens (consider the genus Malus and Prunus, for example). In addition, many woody plants in Indiana University of Pennsylvania’s already limited inventory are invasive nonnative species (consider the large collection of Winged Euonomus, Norway Maple, and Japanese Barberry). We advocate the use of hardy woody plants as a means of providing a more sustainable, diverse, and colorful inventory of woody plants for the Indiana University of Pennsylvania campus.

  1. Implement a systematic tree maintenance program.
  2. Develop a preferred species list for all campus landscape installations and work with Facilities Management to select, install, and maintain plant collections.
  3. Complete the campus tree inventory and establish a plant database.
  4. Promote landscape management techniques and practices that are both sustainable and environmentally friendly.

Goal 2: To demonstrate the aesthetic, environmental, and functional application of woody plants hardy to the Allegheny Plateau.

The Allegheny Arboretum at Indiana University of Pennsylvania is not an exercise in campus “prettification.” It is not something undertaken to—pun intended—“spruce up” the place. The Allegheny Arboretum at Indiana University of Pennsylvania would certainly have beautification effects, but such effects are incidental to the central purpose of an arboretum. Similarly, the purpose of the Allegheny Arboretum at Indiana University of Pennsylvania is not simply to have a diverse collection of woody plant specimens. While diversifying the existing inventory is one of the arboretum’s goals, the diversity goal must be augmented by objectives that seek to demonstrate how woody plants can be applied in the landscape to achieve environmental, educational, and aesthetic purposes.

The following objectives seek to display the instrumental value, native habitats, intrinsic qualities, and architectural uses of plant specimens. These four objectives make up the arboretum’s “quartet” of garden types.

  1. Develop a campuswide “Granite Garden” that would demonstrate the functional and engineering uses of woody plants in the built environment. Woody plants, for example, have been used for thousands of years to provide protection from wind, precipitation, and sun. Today, the “green design” applications of woody plants are being rediscovered. Green infrastructure can advance a number of bioengineering objectives such as reducing cooling loads, mitigating wind rake, stabilizing soil, maintaining stream banks, reducing storm water discharge rates, creating biofilters, and reducing “heat island” effects, to name just a few.
  2. Develop a series of “Niche Gardens” that would display typical plant associations within natural habitats and plant communities of the Allegheny Plateau. Pin Oaks, to use an example, associate with other species sharing similar environments. In flood plain complexes, Pin Oaks associate with among other woody plants, Betula, Acer, Lindera, Populus, Onoclea, Salix, and Platanus. Herbaceous associates might include Osmunda and Onoclea, to name just a few. The idea of a niche garden is to display regional specimens within and alongside associates that would likely share a common plant community typical of the Pittsburgh section of the Allegheny Plateau.
  3. Develop several pocket “Display Gardens” that would demonstrate and permit side-by-side comparisons of foliage, bloom, bark, texture, seasonal interests, and habit among and between species. A display garden, unlike a niche garden, would display plants by family or genus rather than plant community. A display garden would exhibit cultivars as well as plants within the same genus (or family) from other temperate forest environments worldwide. For example, it would be possible to create a display of gardening woody specimens from only one genus while exhibiting dozens of specimens from around the globe. Consider the genus Viburnum, Ilex, or Pinus, each of which contain numerous species and hundreds of cultivars ancestral to many cool temperate forests around the world.
  4. Develop several “Specialty Gardens” that would demonstrate the use of woody plants to enhance the historic character, seasonal interest, and spatial definition of the IUP campus. Specialty gardens might include the construction of a formal Victorian gardenscape around Sutton Hall. Specialty gardens could also add seasonal interest. Consider the creation of winter gardens (think Ilex and Hammelis) along major pedestrian paths. Specialty gardens could create “architectonic” effects. Consider the installation of large canopy shade trees to establish volumetric enclosure along campus streets or augment spatial definition between buildings and campus public spaces.

Goal 3: To establish “Green Linkages” between the community and the university.

Connections between the community and the Arboretum at Indiana University of Pennsylvania will take several forms. These would include (1) physical linkages between campus and community, (2) advocacy linkages with local groups and industry and (3) public linkages with the surrounding community. Physical linkages might include, but need not be limited to, arboretum extensions along the Hoodlebug Trail, the “regreening” of Wayne and Oakland Avenue, and improvements slated for Getty Heights Park. “Green improvements” along both campus and community pedestrian circulation elements should be undertaken as projects of mutual community/campus interest. These linkages are identified in the IUP Campus Development Plan and the Indiana County Pedestrian and Bicycle Circulation Plan as well as other relevant documents.

Advocacy linkages will take the form of connections with—what we’ll call—“street livability” advocacy groups, including the Indiana Borough Shade Tree Commission, Livable Indiana Neighborhood Connections (LINC), Penn State Master Gardeners, Evergreen Club, Downtown Indiana, and the Indiana Garden Club. Indiana County is a major player in the “Green Industry.” Linkages with the Pennsylvania Nurserymen’s and Landscapers Association and the Indiana County Christmas Tree Growers Association will be established. On-campus organization such as ECO, the Co-op, and Phi Eta Sigma (Freshman Honors Society) may be interested in participating as well.

  1. Create pedestrian “safeways” as “greenways” between the community and campus.
  2. Enlist interested community and green industry groups in the establishment of the Allegheny Arboretum at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
  3. Make the arboretum accessible, inviting, and available for use by the general public.
  4. Ensure consistency with current community planning efforts.
  5. Make the Allegheny Arboretum at Indiana University of Pennsylvania a formal component of the campus master plan and a recognizable item within the campus five-year capital improvements program.

Goal 4: To design an outdoor learning environment that will invite use by the general public, visitors, and Indiana University of Pennsylvania, as well as by other educational institutions.

A traditional function of an arboretum is to provide opportunities for educators, students, and the general public to identify plants and learn about their natural history. The Allegheny Arboretum at Indiana University of Pennsylvania will continue this tradition. In addition, the Allegheny Arboretum at Indiana University of Pennsylvania will provide opportunities to learn about applications of plant materials to resolve environmental problems (see “Garden Quartet” Goal 2 above).

  1. Serve as an educational resource for a range of learners (preschool through university).
  2. Establish joint horticultural programs and educational opportunities between campus and community by working with campus departments that are predisposed toward issues of environmental design.
  3. Enhance local economic development by promoting “green tourism” in Indiana County.

Goal 5: To utilize existing and proposed facilities, both community and campus, wherever possible to minimize the initial cost of development.

Implementing the Allegheny Arboretum at Indiana University of Pennsylvania requires financial, physical, and human resources. As noted above (Goal 3), many of these resources are already in place. The campus has an existing inventory of trees (partial inventory done in 1994, complete inventory in 1982). The university is and will continue to be engaged in substantial capital improvement projects. The community has a number of advocacy horticultural organizations.

  1. Establish an Arboretum Board review procedure for all campus capital projects.
  2. Promote the joint development of projects with like-minded community organizations.
  3. Encourage and cultivate gifts, donations, and other financial contributions to the arboretum.
  • The Allegheny Arboretum
  • Indiana University of Pennsylvania
    Robertshaw Building
    650 S 13th Street
    Indiana, PA 15705-1087
  • Phone: 724-357-3322