Even though this year has been interesting to say the least, the Dawes Arboretum staff is thankful for the visitors, community support and conservation advancements we were able to take part in for 2020. 


The Dawes Arboretum’s 2020 by the Numbers:


  • We hosted 19 onsite programs and 35 virtual programs.
  • We planted nearly 200 new trees and plants.
  • Between the spring and fall sale, we sold 1,276 plants.
  • Across all of our membership levels and programs, we welcomed 1,595 new members since January 1, 2020.


Team Members’ Favorite Memories


My favorite memory from this year at The Arboretum would have to be hosting Maple and Mischief,” said Megan Mansfield, Membership and Donor Relations Manager. “The event was held on the perfect winter night and it was great to see guests mingle and enjoy a piece of our history with a fun twist.”


I have enjoyed connecting with guests over Zoom,” said Nicole Tabit, Youth & Adult Program Educator. “Some of my favorite classes are our Nature Happy Hours or when we create fun nature crafts!”


“My favorite memory of this year was collecting over 140 pounds of native seed for the next year,” said Holly Latteman, Conservation Project Manager.


Conservation Highlights


  • Led 6th annual successful stream clean up event through the Licking County River Round Up (despite pandemic restriction, removed 2,023 lbs. of trash, 1 dump truck load of wire & 3 tires hosted 2 volunteers).
  • Collected over 170 lbs of native seed valued at over $27,000.
  • Contributed to the Spring and Fall Arboretum Plant Sale by selling various native Dawes-grown plants, earning $5,893.64 and placing 675 native plants in the hands of the public.
  • Received $1,000 grant to further the restoration of the oak savanna.
  • Discovered 9 plant species of high conservation value throughout Arboretum grounds, these being blue curls (Trichostema dichotomum), 2 rare rush species, 5 orchids and a wild origin Blue Ash tree. Currently developing maps and management recommendations for populations of these plants.


Native Wildlife Highlights


  • Reared, tagged and released 16 Monarch butterflies.
  • Constructed and installed a native butterfly rearing hut and rearing benches in the Visitors Center, to be opened in fall of 2021. 
  • Conducted 2 bat roosting surveys in partnership with the Ohio Division of Wildlife, finding more than 65 resident bats in the Bur Oak barn.
  • Conducted bat sonar surveys and detected up to 5 species of bats on Arboretum grounds.
  • 2 Kestrels fledged from Martin barn nest box.
  • 2 Vultures (thought to be Black Vultures) fledged from smaller Martin Barn.
  • Continued efforts to reduce nuisance wildlife impacts, 1 Beaver and 1 Muskrat from the Dutch Fork Wetlands.
  • Recorded 217 Eastern Bluebirds, 208 Tree Swallows, and 144 House Wrens fledged from Arboretum nest boxes.


Conservation Education Highlights


  • Successfully trained (5) new Environmental Professional Residents as future conservation leaders. 
  • Contributed to the online Ohio Sustainable Landscape Series, “Cultivating Native Landscapes for Birds”.
  • Expanded community partnerships by presenting an overview of The Arboretum at EarthShare Ohio to state of Ohio employees, Franklin county employees.
  • Designed and installed 6 new commercially printed (Pannier) signs illustrating our conservation story.
  • Redesigned kiosk displays at the Red Barn Reserve, Dutch Fork Wetlands, and East side woodlands to include new maps and interpretive materials in a more artistic and aesthetically appealing manner.
  • Improved the Pollinator Path at the Red Barn Reserve by designing and installing 9 interpretive bee signs. 
  • Offered 4 new virtual “Nature Happy Hour” programs to provide innovative education opportunities for the public in a socially distant manner.
  • Expanded the Arboretum Greenbelt Initiative by conducting a restoration site visit at Heron Bay housing development in Thornville, Ohio.


We are thankful to have the opportunity to continue our mission of enriching lives through the conservation of trees and nature and to share it with our community. Here’s to 2021!