Herbert E. Owen Native Plant Garden
Enjoy 45 species of native plants in our native plant garden and arboretum. This outdoor classroom lets you see local native plant species side by side. Get up close and make observations, or spend some time in the company of beautiful native plants, shrubs, and trees.
The Herbert E. Owen Native Plant Garden is directly south of Berndt Hall and east of the Admission office.
History behind the Native Plant Garden
The Herbert E. Owen Native Plant Garden was built in 2012 as an educational resource for the Department of Biology. It is named for Herb Owen, professor of Biology at FLC from 1955 to 1978 and founder of the department.
Owen began teaching at FLC when the school was at the Old Fort and operated as a two-year college. He continued teaching through FLC’s transition into a four-year college. His dream was to have a garden of native plants on campus that could serve as a teaching facility.
The Herbert E. Owen Native Plant Garden at Fort Lewis College was awarded a Level 1 Accreditation by The ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program and The Morton Arboretum for stellar arboreta garden practices.
The ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program is the only global initiative to officially recognize arboreta at various development, capacity, and professional levels. The Herbert E. Owen Native Plant Garden at Fort Lewis College is now recognized as an accredited arboretum in the Morton Register of Arboreta, a database of the world’s arboreta and gardens dedicated to woody plants. With an interactive and collaborative affiliation, we are excited for this garden to receive widespread recognition and support for expanding its collection of native plants.
"This accreditation recognizes the importance that we as a Department of Biology and a college place on hands-on learning and providing, even on our campus itself, the ability to see biological diversity."
FLC Campus Arboretum
Biology faculty and students began a service-learning project in 2021 to research and tag trees across campus. View their research and profiles on tree species found at FLC.