Branching out at the Arboretum

  • Article by: TOM MEERSMAN , Star Tribune
  • Updated: December 26, 2012 - 11:09 AM

The University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum will open a new sculpture garden next year and add a connection with a regional bike trail.

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sophiashinesDec. 26, 1211:49 AM

I have been a member of the arboretum for years and love love love the place. My favorite spot has always been the high point and circle. I was SO dismayed to see this art installation. I think it is hideous and horrible and I think it ruins the natural beauty of that sloping rise to the circle of trees. Really really awful. I think they should have dispersed the art throughout the property. I love the annual funky artsy things they usually do every summer, and those usually mirror the natural theme of the whole place. This art installation does not do that and I think most of the pieces stick out like sore, sore thumbs. It was a generous donation, to be sure, but I does not suit the space at all.

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justsmilingDec. 26, 12 2:13 PM

I love the Arboretum as well. I also love to visit high point. It's a great place to have a picnic or just relax. I think the added art is going to be wonderful. Give it a chance to grow on you. Everyone should come see it now and again when the landscaping is complete. There are so many places to visit at the Arboretum but I think this will become a favorite for many people. Also really looking forward to the Gophers in the Garden exhibit this summer!

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nodenialDec. 26, 12 6:43 PM

The Arboretum IS a great place to visit, but recent additions and future plans threaten its natural beauty and habitat. Visitors come because they want to be in a natural setting, and that is slowly disappearing. To be true to the Arboretum's original mission, the natural beauty and environment should be preserved as much as possible for the sake of not only the education and enjoyment of future human generations, but for the future generations of those species which live there. Particularly in our current ecological crisis, the public looks to the Arboretum to model continuity of preservation in its guardianship of the natural world within its boundaries. If it can't live up to the vital responsibility for its most valuable asset, we will all be the poorer as a result.

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newslover12Dec. 27, 12 8:39 AM

I love the Arboretum and visit often. I did not know the sculptures were already installed until I walked out on Saturday with my husband. Rounding the corner to Highpoint we were blown away by the amazing variety of the sculptures. While we love nature in its purest form, this sculpture garden is a great addition to one of our favorite spots. We are looking forward to many picnics there next summer. I encourage those of you to take a moment and remember that the Arboretum is a nonprofit. This article points out that summer attendance was down in 2012 - admission fees that support the garden. I applaud the Arboretum's effort to find new ways to encourage more Minnesotans to visit, so that in 50 years the Arboretum - and all of the research they do - still exists. I do not think this move at all detracts from the overall mission. It is just a way to encourage more people to think about nature's beauty and the essential research that the Arboretum does every year. If you go out and find you do not like the sculptures, you still have 1197 acres you can choose from (sounds like soon there will be even more!!). If you loved the natural beauty of Highpoint, check out the Oak and Nut collection. It is a similar spot that is all natural. It is almost always quiet - a really great spot to sit. I am very excited about the Gophers in the Gardens. With the success of the Snoopy statues, I can only imagine this is going to be a great hit!!

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holstjDec. 28, 12 9:59 AM

They should add a brew pub to get this place on the map.

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lee4713Mar. 17, 1311:07 PM

I'm with the first commenter - it's horrible and it ruins the unique spot. And no, I am not interested in going "instead" to the nut trees. I guess the Arb doesn't need my pittance of a contribution and it won't get it as a result of this "art installation".

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