Purdue will assume operations of Taltree Arboretum & Gardens in early 2018
Information provided by Purdue University Northwest
VALPARAISO, Ind. (December 20, 2017) – Taltree Arboretum & Gardens Foundation’s Board of Directors; Damien and Rita Gabis (founders of Taltree); and Purdue University Northwest today announced a unique partnership. The Taltree Arboretum & Gardens Foundation and the Gabis family will donate the arboretum and its more than 300 acres to the university.
Purdue will continue to operate the property, to be renamed Gabis Arboretum at Purdue Northwest, as an arboretum for public, educational, conservation and recreational use.
The gift to the university is valued at approximately $12 million. It is the largest donation in the history of the Purdue campuses to date. Purdue will assume operations of the arboretum upon closing of the transfer of ownership, anticipated to occur in early 2018. The renaming of the property is pending final approval of the Purdue University Board of Trustees in February 2018.
“We are truly grateful to the Gabis family, as well as the Board of Directors of the Taltree Foundation, for their visionary and generous gift to advance learning, research, and engagement in Northwest Indiana,” said Purdue Chancellor Thomas L. Keon. “We are tremendously excited about this exceptional opportunity to expand the mission and impact of both the arboretum and Purdue.”
Keon noted that both institutions focus on enhancing the quality of life in the region; both support and advance economic development and sustainability; and both provide educational and research opportunities for people throughout Northwest Indiana and beyond.
“This partnership with Purdue Northwest is a tremendous opportunity for the sustainability of Taltree as a public arboretum,” Damien Gabis said. “Rita and I would like to thank those who have played a part in Taltree’s growth and success, which would not have been possible without the support of our Board of Directors, our dedicated staff, numerous devoted volunteers, and our faithful members. We are excited about the prospect of becoming a small part of Purdue Northwest.”
Taltree Arboretum & Gardens
About 30 miles from Lansing, Illinois, Taltree is home to one of the most diverse oak collections in the nation. The arboretum welcomes nearly 50,000 guests annually to the property, which features hiking paths, multiple gardens, woodlands, wetlands, pavilions, prairies, a Monarch waystation, an outdoor classroom, and the popular Railway Garden. Taltree is open year round and offers a wide variety of events and classes for all ages. Proceeds received by the nonprofit organization power its conservation, restoration and education initiatives.
Keon noted that the partnership with Taltree will enable Purdue to offer new and expanded academic courses, enhance recruitment efforts, support community educational and outreach programs, conduct new research projects, and engage further with area K-12 teachers and students.
Purdue University Northwest
Purdue University Northwest is a student-centered university that values academic excellence, supports growth, and celebrates diversity. Located in Northwest Indiana, near Chicago, Purdue fosters a vibrant academic community through high quality and engaging undergraduate and graduate education.