Herbert E. Owen Native Plant Garden

Trees, shrubs, and other native plants in the Fort Lewis College's Owen Arboretum

ArbNet Level 1 accredited arboretum

Enjoy 45 species of native plants in our native plant garden and arboretum. This outdoor classroom offers you an opportunity to see local native plant species side by side. Get up close and make observations, or just spend some time in the company of beautiful native plants, shrubs, and trees.

Getting to the native plant garden

The Herbert E. Owen Native Plant Garden is directly south of Berndt Hall, and east of the Admission office.

Dr. Ross McCauley behind an F. Juncea plant

"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."

History behind the arboretum

Plaque honoring Herbert E. Owen in the Herbert E. Owen 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. It was his dream to have a native plant garden on campus that could serve as a teaching facility.

 

Accreditation

Native Southwest Colorado plants in the Herbert E. Owen Native Plant Garden at Fort Lewis College

The Herbert E. Owen Native Plant Garden at Fort Lewis College has been 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 levels of development, capacity, and professionalism. The Herbert E. Owen Native Plant Garden at Fort Lewis College is also 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, the Herbert E. Owen Native Plant Garden is sure to receive widespread recognition and support for the expansion of its collection of native plants.