Located on Maryland’s Eastern Shore, Adkins Arboretum was founded in 1980 by the Maryland Department of Natural Resources as part of the state park system. In 1998, the former Friends of Adkins Arboretum, a nonprofit organization, was granted a 50-year lease to operate the Arboretum. Its 400 acres of native gardens and natural areas include one of the region’s most significant forested wetlands, as well as rich upland forest and open meadows. With a “living collection” of more than 600 species of native trees, shrubs, flowers, and grasses, the Arboretum is the only public garden in the Mid-Atlantic region devoted to education, research, and conservation of coastal plain flora. Open to the public year round, it is a compelling place for all ages to explore the grounds and attend educational programs and seasonal events.
In order to broaden its educational offerings and research initiatives to accommodate a growing visitorship, the Arboretum announced a $5 million Capital Campaign, “The Campaign to Build a Green Legacy.” This project will build a new green Arboretum Center, create an ecologically sensitive entry and parking area, and provide endowment funds that will help sustain the expansion and support new programs.
In 2011, the project completed the design process. Earthly Ideas has served as the sustainability and Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) consultant and provided extensive materials and methods research, drawing and specification review and editing, and design assistance to the team including coordination of LEED certification process since 2005. The Arboretum is committed to achieving LEED Silver certification but is striving for Gold. In addition, the Arboretum is a pilot project in the Sustainable Sites Initiative (SITES™), an interdisciplinary effort by the American Society of Landscape Architects, the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center at The University of Texas at Austin, and the United States Botanic Garden.