Excitement is growing as the City of Burlington and the New Leaf Society partner together to remake Willowbrook Park into Willowbrook Arboretum!
Follow the links below for more information on the transformation of this park!
The progress at the Arboretum at Willowbrook is going to make for a beautiful fall.
The Commons building is nearly completely. The finishes are beautiful (we’re loving the rain chains). The hardscaping looks fantastic.
Work continues on the Veterans Plaza. Once it’s complete and the statue is placed, we’ll get to work on repaving the parking lot.
The sign is under construction.
Folks donated benches through New Leaf Society. They’re thoughtfully placed throughout the park to provide the perfect spot to perch and enjoy the views.
Speaking of which, leaves are starting to turn and the color gets prettier everyday.
The black gums are turning scarlet and the persimmons are ripening.
6/2/20After a COVID-related delivery deal, the roof trusses have been raised on the Arboretum Commons building.
Crews were planting another fifteen trees donated by New Leaf Society, including this Magnolia situated near the bridge at the foot of Central Ave.
Another Magnolia caught a ride down East Willowbrook. It will be planted across the path from the magnolia above.
The Arboretum's Horticultural Specialist Jason Barnhill makes sure all the newly-planted trees, including this Beech, are good and watered. People donated this particular batch of trees through New Leaf Society in the memory of loved ones.
Speaking of New Leaf Society, their Event and Fundraising Committee held a socially-distanced meeting in the fresh air.
Two young fellas were checking out the tadpoles.
Another little fella sniffed nearly every square inch of the park.
5/19/20Talk a walk through the Burlington Arboretum at Willowbrook park with Jason Barnhill, the Arboretum's Horticultural Specialist, and Amy Cameron, the City's Stormwater Manager. Jason talks tree plantings, including the larger trees recently donated by New Leaf Society. Amy talks about access points to the creek, native vegetation, and the developing wetland garden. Click here to watch
Pathway construction is nearing completion along the west side of Brown Branch Creek. As they cross the creek to the east side, the paths will be completed as the construction of the Arboretum Commons Building allows. Speaking of which...construction is moving along on the Commons Building. The enclosed sections in the picture below are the bathrooms.
The plantings that were part of the 2018-2019 Stream Restoration project are starting to spring back to life. Several more of the native trees (oaks, bald cyprus, swamp magnolia, etc) were recently planted along the stream bed as part of the original contract, replacing trees that didn't survive.
The various species of reed-like juncus that were seeded along the creek as part of the restoration have really flourished. You can see a bank of them here with one of the beautiful Corten steel bridges donate by New Leaf Society in the background.
Jason Barnhill, the Arboretum's Horticulture Specialist, has been getting busy, too. Though many of the specialized plantings will have to wait until construction is complete, Jason and his crew did replace the plantings around the gazebo.
They planted Distytlium 'Vintage Jade' and Cephalotaxus 'Duke Gardens.' These low-growing evergreens will allow for an unobstructed view of the park from the Gazebo. When they fill in they will beautifully frame the two existing Japanese Maples.
From being in the park everyday, Jason is quickly become acquainted with all the animals who enjoy Willowbrook. When some park-goers found a baby Yellow-Bellied slider turtle confused and dehydrated on one of the paths, they brought him to Jason. After making sure the little guy was healthy and hydrated, the turtle was released back into the creek.
2/18/20A big hello and welcome to the City’s new hire, Horticultural Specialist Jason Barnhill. Jason’s primary focus will be to oversee and maintain all the plantings in the Arboretum. While most of the plantings will wait until construction is completed on the pathways and the Arboretum commons, Jason is already starting some minor projects out of the way of construction traffic.