Reflecting a commitment to confronting the challenge of climate change at the local level, the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University has launched a $250,000 fundraising campaign to improve lighting systems and replace windows in the Dana Greenhouses. This initiative aims to boost energy efficiency and long-term energy savings for the Arboretum’s extensive propagation activities.
“Each of the diverse trees, shrubs, and vines at the Arnold Arboretum begins its life in the Dana Greenhouses,” said Director William (Ned) Friedman. “It’s not only a hub for expanding the Arboretum’s renowned living collections, but also for building and sharing our knowledge about propagation and public horticulture. It is long past time that we leverage the extraordinary advances in technology and services that have made greenhouses more energy efficient to make this facility a better and more sustainable place to grow plants for our collections.”
The Charles Stratton Dana Greenhouses opened in 1964 and have played a central role in testing the cultural requirements of woody plants, introducing new cultivated varieties, and preserving the lineages of rare and historical plants collected through more than a century of plant exploration. After fifty remarkable years of operation, renovations are required to modernize lighting systems and glazing to extend the operational life of the facility and to increase energy efficiency in the headhouse. The first phase of this project—retrofitting outdated fluorescent lights with more efficient LED fixtures—was launched through a generous gift by the late Edith “Nod” Meyer, and contributions made in her memory by her family and friends. With one quarter of the total raised in a $250,000 campaign, the Arboretum requests support from our friends to fund the second phase of these improvements—the replacement of single-paned windows to better regulate temperature and energy usage.
A new standard for sustainability at the Arboretum was established in 2011 with the opening of the Weld Hill Research Building, a LEED-Gold certified building that was the first of its kind at Harvard University. The successful completion of this fundraising campaign will the Dana Greenhouses in line with this priority, reaping long-term energy savings that will divert more funds to propagation activities, and contribute meaningfully to the Arboretum’s long term goals as an environmental steward.