| By Erin Neeb, Director of Development |

This is a wonderful time to reflect on the year coming to an end and revel in accomplishments.  This year, The Dawes Arboretum was able to make several leaps forward in our work that were significantly funded by donors.  While our founders, Beman and Bertie Dawes, had the generous foresight to endow The Arboretum with a fund that still pays for much of our daily operations, many of our capital upgrades and specific projects simply would not take place without donor funding.

Following is a list of items that may not have happened this year, or ever, without our thoughtful donors.

1)      Completed the first phase of Japanese Garden updates that involved moving boulders up to 3,000 pounds and building a new meditation house.  Nearing the garden’s 50 year anniversary, original designer, Makoto Nakamura, consulted on the renovation. DSC_4961

2)      Opened a new accessible trail for walking, jogging, bicycling, strollers, etc.  Most of our trails at The Arboretum are grass, gravel or dirt.  This is the only paved trail at The Arboretum apart from the Auto Tour and it was requested by many visitors for accessibility and safety.

3)      Facilitated field trips centered on wetlands, soil, and nature education with students from Heritage Middle School with a grant from the Ohio Environmental Education Fund of the Ohio EPA.  This gift sparked a new partnership to elevate science education opportunities.

4)      Transformed the History Center into exhibit space featuring displays on Arboretum history and mission-related themes.  This space is open to the public free of charge.  The displays are being changed this winter, so check back in the spring to learn more!

As you go about your holiday season, consider these projects that could not have happened without you and help us with a giving celebration that has spread among the non-profit community called #GivingTuesday.  Following a day for giving thanks and days for getting deals, on Tuesday, December 2, we now have #GivingTuesday—a day for giving back!  In the midst of shopping and wrapping, consider making an on-line contribution to The Dawes Arboretum in support of trees, history and nature and help us spread the joy of #GivingTuesday throughout the season!

Click here to donate today!  Thank you for your support and Happy Holidays from The Dawes Arboretum!