History of the Linnaeus Arboretum

Chinking the Borgeson Cabin

Chinking the Borgeson Cabin.

The idea for the arboretum was initiated when President Barth asked Charles Mason, professor of Biology and future arboretum director, for trees around the president's house. The first trees of the arboretum were planted by volunteers in 1973.
A master plan for the arboretum was developed with 3 natural ecosystems and a formal garden. Charles Mason was appointed Director of the arboretum.
The Borgeson cabin was moved from Norseland, MN to the arboretum. The Borgeson Cabin was home to a Swedish immigrant family and is a wonderful example of traditional construction. The dove-tailed joints are very typical of buildings constructed over 130 years ago.
The Melva Lind Interpretive Center was completed to house the Arboretum staff, Environmental Studies, interpretive educational exhibits, and a meeting space, which is available for private events. In 2007, it will also be home to the Johnson Center for Environmental Innovation.
Students planting

Students helping plant the Uhler Prairie.

Restoration of the Uhler Prairie began with the help of many students and community members. Gustavus Adolphus College Arboretum was officially named the Linnaeus Arboretum in honor of Carl Linnaeus (1707-1778), a Swedish botanist famous for devising the binomial nomenclature system we use today to name organisms.
Friends of the Linnaeus Arboretum was established. This group supports the arboretum through volunteer activities. Educational programs are offered throughout the year for FLA members.
March 1998
A super cell tornado spawning multiple tornadoes devastated the campus. The tornado caused significant damage to the arboretum. On campus the tornado broke 80 percent of the windows, leveled nearly 2,000 trees, toppled the chapel's spire, destroyed Johnson Hall, and caused more than $50 million in damages.
Fall 1998
Jim Gilbert joined the Linnaeus Arboretum as Executive Director and Instructor of Environmental Studies
Construction of the Loreli Olson Steuer Wetland Preserve began.
The 30-year anniversary of Linnaeus Arboretum was celebrated by holding the first Linnaeus Symposium that featured well-renowned ethnobotanist, Wade Davis.
The Jim Gilbert Teaching Pond was dedicated following his retirement as the Executive Director of the arboretum. Jim's dedication to educating young people about the natural world is his hallmark and heralded in this teaching facility.
Dr. Cindy Johnson was appointed as the Executive Director of Linnaeus Arboretum.
The second biennial Linnaeus Symposium was held on the 300th anniversary of the birth of Carl Linnaeus. Linnaeus @ 300 featured renowned ethnobotanists Paul Alan Cox, Hans Odöö, and Mark Plotkin.
Prairie seeding

Feder's Prairie Seed Co.

November 2008
The Coneflower Prairie, a former 70-acre soybean field adjacent to the arboretum, was tilled and seeded with native grasses and wildflowers.
The third biennial Linnaeus Symposium, Global Trees: Releaf-Relief, featured renowned canopy researcher "Canopy Meg" Lowman, Richard Stockton College political scientist Patrick Hossay, and watercolor artist Gail Speckmann '73.