Trees of Loyola--Fitness and Aquatic Center

Baltimore, MD, United States
Est. 536m / 11 mins

Trees of Loyola--Fitness and Aquatic Center - Cya On The Road

Meet the Trees of Loyola—trees that are part of the Loyola Arboretum.An arboretum collects, grows, and displays trees, shrubs, and other plants for people to study and enjoy, and is open to the public for education and inspiration. But this site was not always an arboretum.In the mid-19th century, it was the site of an orphanage that housed refugees fleeing the Irish potato famine in the mid-19th century. At that time, this area was rural farmland.Later, it became the site of the Shriners’ Boumi Temple, a huge, 78,000 square foot building with 40-foot ceilings, multiple ballrooms, and a $12,000 monthly electricity bill. The ornate building had become too expensive for the 6,000-member chapter of the Shriners, who sold the 20-acre parcel containing the building, 700-space parking lot, and grounds, to the university in 1997. The arboretum was officially accredited by the Morton Register of Arboreta in 2013, recognizing the University's dedication to nurturing and preserving dozens of tree species on the Evergreen campus. By achieving high standards of professional practices deemed important for arboreta and botanic gardens, the Loyola University Maryland Arboretum is now recognized among other professional public gardens all over the world.Today the 80-acre Evergreen campus boasts more than 2,200 trees that represent at least 114 varieties. This quantity and diversity of trees present here  in Loyola's city setting provide an excellent opportunity to cure what Loyola Jesuit Tim Brown has called "tree blindness." Our ignorance of nature is not new; more than a century ago, early American conservationist John Burroughs remarked that "People who discourse pleasantly and accurately about the birds and flowers and external nature generally are not invariably good observers. In their walks do they see anything they did not come out to see? Is there any spontaneous or unpremeditated seeing? Do they make discoveries?"We encourage you to explore and discover this space and the lovely, interesting trees that inhabit it.The 19.5-acre parcel on which the Fitness and Aquatic Center was built was purchased by Loyola in 1997 and added significantly to the quantity and diversity of trees on Loyola's campus. Like the area encompassed by the academic quad at North Charles St. and Cold Spring Lane, the FAC portion of the Arboretum includes a mixture of mature “monarch” trees from the original forest and trees planted in the past few decades. The FAC area also includes more natural forest areas along the Charles St. perimeter.Sources:Peter Jensen, "One Last Dance at Boumi Temple," Baltimore Sun, Sept. 20, 1998.

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