Photos courtesy of Trinity College

Trinity College in Hartford, Connecticut, was officially designated an arboretum earlier this year on May 16, 2023, the 200th anniversary of the College charter. With initial input from landscape designer and Hartford-native Frederick Law Olmsted in the 1870s, the campus now is a home to more than 1,500 trees and dozens of tree species spread over about 100 acres.   

“Establishing the Trinity College Arboretum is a significant milestone in our commitment to local ecology and the culmination of years of discussion and volunteer efforts,” said Susan A. Masino, Trinity College Vernon D. Roosa Professor of Applied Science. “Our campus is an oasis of natural beauty, and it will serve as a model for future urban arboreta and their benefits to the health of the community and beyond.”  

The designation adds Trinity College to the list of hundreds of sites, including many Olmsted landscapes, that have been accredited by ArbNet, the only global program to certify arboreta through a rigorous set of industry standards.   

In pursuing the application, students and faculty identified and labeled 37 tree species on campus, including two Connecticut state champion trees—an English Elm and a Temple’s Upright Sugar Maple.   

Today, Trinity is taking care of its current trees while formalizing plans for new plantings in specific areas of campus. The institution is committed to adding native species, including the dozen oak species native to New England. Tree additions and replacements will focus on supporting biodiversity and public health and mitigating impacts of climate change.  

Masino added, “On the eve of Trinity’s Bicentennial, we wanted to officially formalize our dedication to conserving nature for the future.” 

This piece was adapted from a Trinity College article that ran in May 2023.