UT Arboretum Listed Among the Most Beautiful College Arboretums

The University of Tennessee Arboretum, including its seven miles of walking trails, has been named by Best College Reviews as among the 50 most beautiful college arboretums. The UT Arboretum was ranked as number 22.  Come see for yourself. The arboretum, which is located in Oak Ridge, Tenn., is free and open to the public. Photo courtesy UTIA.
The University of Tennessee Arboretum, including its seven miles of walking trails, has been named by Best College Reviews as among the 50 most beautiful college arboretums. The UT Arboretum was ranked as number 22. Come see for yourself. The arboretum, which is located in Oak Ridge, Tenn., is free and open to the public. Photo courtesy UTIA.

Independent Organization Ranks the Tennessee Forest Among the Top 25

OAK RIDGE, Tenn. –  If you like towering trees, quiet forest walks and beautiful outdoor spaces, it’s hard to disagree with the latest ranking from “Best College Reviews.” The online guide that helps students identify institutions that suit their educational goals and other preferences has published a list of the 50 most beautiful college arboretums, and the University of Tennessee Arboretum is listed as number 22.

The website, bestcollegereviews.org, says the following criteria were used to compile the rankings:
• Size of arboretum
• Size of the collection
• How long the garden has been established
• Opportunities for college students
• Connection with the community

The organization ranked the F.R. Newman Arboretum at Cornell University as the number one college arboretum.

Kevin Hoyt, director of the UT’s Forest Resources AgResearch and Education Center and Arboretum, was excited to hear the news. “It’s truly an honor to be named as among the most beautiful arboretums in the nation. But it’s especially gratifying that the ranking recognizes both opportunities for college students and connections with the local community.”

The UT Arboretum is a project of the UT Forest Resources AgResearch and Education Center. The 250-acre research and educational forest serves as an outdoor classroom to university students in a variety of fields and as a community resource with numerous interpretive nature trails and ecological points of interest. The arboretum hosts more than 30,000 visitors annually and boasts of a collection of more than 2,000 native and exotic woody plant specimens representing more than 800 species. It has been recognized as an official Wildlife Observation Area and is a part of the National Watchable Wildlife Program.

At present the UT Arboretum, including its seven miles of self-guided walking tours, is open to the public and free of charge to visit. A new 2000–sq. ft. auditorium with scenic views and modern conveniences is available for rent for visitors desiring a rustic, park-like setting for events like weddings, meetings or workshops.

For details about arboretum and its facilities, including hiking trail maps, visit the arboretum’s website: http://utarboretum.tennessee.edu

Hoyt adds that while much of the fall colors are scattered on the forest floor, the UT Arboretum remains a great place for a fall outing. “Many leaves still remain aloft and the evergreens and holly trees will retain their greenery, so visitors will have a great time getting outdoors at the arboretum throughout the fall,” Hoyt says. During the Thanksgiving and Christmas seasons Hoyt adds that visiting the arboretum provides a great break from the rigors of holiday shopping.

As a UT AgResearch facility, the arboretum also provides a natural laboratory for research in plant uses, insect and disease control and the management of natural resources.

The arboretum benefits from the support of the University of Tennessee Arboretum Society (UTAS), a non-profit organization of volunteers dedicated to furthering the objectives and programs of the UT Forest Resources Center and Arboretum. The society has assisted by providing support and funding for such projects as expanding plant collections, constructing facilities to enhance the public’s use and enjoyment of the arboretum, and informing the public of the unique value and importance of the arboretum to the area.

Recently, the society accepted the challenge of providing a portion of the operating funds needed to assure continued public access to the arboretum. Information about the society and membership opportunities are available at the UT Arboretum Visitors Center, online at the UT Arboretum Society’s website (http://www.utarboretumsociety.org/) or by e-mail at utarboretumsociety@gmail.com

Through its mission of research, teaching and extension, the University of Tennessee Institute of Agriculture (UTIA) touches lives and provides Real. Life. Solutions. ag.tennessee.edu

About Brad Jones

Brad is the Owner/Operator of BBB TV 12, and has been with the company since August of 1996. Brad is a 1987 graduate of Coalfield High School and a 1995 graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Communications. He won the 1995 broadcast production student of the year award. Brad worked at Shop at Home, Inc. a home shopping network that was located in Knoxville, TN from 1993 - 1995 and then at Via TV (RSTV, Inc.) from 1995 - 1996. After some freelance work in Nashville, Brad joined the BBB Communications staff in August of 1996. A short stint at WVLT TV as a news photographer was in 2001, but he continued to work at BBB TV as well. Brad is married to Nicole Jenkins Jones, a 1990 graduate of Oak Ridge High School, who works at Oak Ridge Gastroenterology and Associates in Oak Ridge. They have 3 kids, Trevor Bogard, 27, Chandler 22, and Naomi 13. On December 12, 2013 they welcomed their first grandchild, Carter Ryan Bogard. Brad is also the assistant boys basketball coach at Coalfield High School for the past 11 years. In 2013-14 the Yellow Jackets won their first district title since 1991 and just the 4th in school history.

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