A team of horticultural science and public garden experts met to develop a strategic plan for the U.S. National Arboretum to guide our programs, priorities, resources, and relationships. The formal plan, posted here, has engendered a new slogan, “Rediscover the National Arboretum. . . Where science meets beauty.” The fundamental premise and promise of the plan is to reaffirm the role of the U.S. National Arboretum as a place of scientific discovery which contributes to the sustainability of landscapes by improving the environmental, economic, and aesthetic value of plants. The environmental horticulture research programs are built on taxonomy, development of new plants, and protection of woody and ornamental plants against known and unknown pathogens and threats. The National Arboretum also maintains a substantial herbarium and extensive living collections to support plant breeding and other programs of its scientists and colleagues throughout the world.
The plan calls for the integration of the scientific mission of the Arboretum with the display gardens and educational programs which draw more than 600,000 visitors each year. Finally, the plan recognizes that the long-term, financial sustainability of the range of Arboretum programs will require rebalancing appropriated resources and concession income and contributions to support visitor services and programs. The plan will face its first tests as the Arboretum manages the fiscal austerity facing Federal programs.
You may download the 2013-2017 Arboretum Strategic Plan here.