News & Comment

THE PROPOSED NATIONAL ARBORETUM AT WASHINGTON

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Science  25 Dec 1925:
Vol. 62, Issue 1617, pp. 579-581
DOI: 10.1126/science.62.1617.579

Abstract

Nature. The proposed national arboretum at Washington would contain a permanent living collection of trees and other outdoor plants for purposes of scientific research and education. It would include the trees, shrubs, and perennials used in forestry and horticulture, and the wild relatives of these plants. It would be a bureau of standards for horticulture. It would contain a water garden and a wildrice preserve, and it would serve incidentally as a bird sanctuary.

Economic value. The arboretum would make the work of the Department of Agriculture more valuable to the country in many ways, but especially through plant breeding. The development of faster-growing timber trees, improved fruits, and disease-resistant plants generally, through the facilities afforded by the arboretum, would increase profoundly the agricultural wealth and welfare of the United States.

Location. The Mount Hamilton and Hickey Hill tracts in the District of Columbia, together with the Anacostia River flats above Benning Bridge, constitute an admirable site for the arboretum, convenient in location and with a great variety of soils.

Cost. About 400 acres of the proposed site is already owned by the government. It consists of marsh land, about to be drained by army engineers. The Mount Hamilton and Hickey Hill area, 408 acres, privately owned, was reported by the assessor in January, 1925, to be valued at $343,048, distributed among thirty owners.

Maintenance. If the purchase of the Mount Hamilton and Hickey Hill tracts in the fiscal year 1927 is authorized, it is estimated that the cost of maintenance of the arboretum for the first three years would be as follows:

1927. Nothing

1928. $25,000

1929. $50,000