An arboretum is a living museum established for the growing and effective display of trees, shrubs, and vines. The specimens are maintained, labeled, cataloged, and mapped. The characteristics of the grounds, the collections, the type of research, and educational programs sets each arboretum apart.
To provide a learning environment that will advance our global understanding of temperate forests, cultivate an aesthetic appreciation for regional flora of the Allegheny Plateau, and demonstrate practical applications of woody plant materials to modify and mitigate local environmental conditions.
In January 2000, IUP President Lawrence Pettit appointed an Arboretum Board, under the direction of Jerry Pickering, to develop an arboretum on the campus. In the first year, key decisions by the board included deciding that the entire IUP campus would constitute the arboretum, naming the arboretum the Allegheny Arboretum at Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and establishing the mission, goals and objectives of the arboretum. In 2005, the Allegheny Arboretum officially became part of the university and is administered by the vice president of Administration and Finance.
The intent of the Arboretum Board is to work with the university and organizations to develop a public arboretum that is integrated into the Indiana community and to develop a regional arboretum for western Pennsylvania.