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Missouri Arboretum

Northwest Missouri State University was named the official Missouri Arboretum by the Missouri State Legislature in 1993 due its long-time commitment to planting and preserving an array of flowering and non-flowering trees. Northwest's history of tree management goes back to its earliest days when groundskeeper J.R. Brink was hired to maintain the campus grounds. Brink, the Father of Northwest's Arboretum, planted 300 trees a year from 1917 to 1927.

While the expansion of the university and a bad outbreak of Dutch Elm Disease drastically reduced Brink's original forest, groundskeepers have continued to follow in Brink's footsteps, planting a wider variety of trees to insure that a single disease can never again impact the campus landscape dramatically. Currently, there are three trails that wind across campus giving nature lovers a chance to view trees from all over the world, as well as, an assortment of shrubs and flowers. While walking, observers may also see a host of wildlife from birds, to squirrels and the occasional fox.

If you are interested in learning more about the history of the premier site of the Missouri State Arboretum, see Arboretum Roots on the Northwest History Online Museum (The State Teachers College, 1919-1949).

To discuss a visitor's tour or to learn how to support Northwest's Commemorative Tree Program, contact Danny Smith at 660.562.1183 or email at

Visit the Missouri Arboretum