A Seasonal Surprise
for the New Year
After working in public horticulture for over twenty years (the last five years at Bayard Cutting Arboretum), you would think that I would anticipate every seasonal change before it happens. However, nature is not always that predictable and I often underestimate its wonder until I stand in its shadow and experience it firsthand. Prunus subhirtella ‘Autumnalis’, the winter blooming Higan cherry (2018-0288), is the perfect example of this seasonal surprise. I know when this tree blooms and I have a firm understanding of the science that enables that to happen. However, I am always amazed that the arboretum has a cherry tree blooming in the month of January. That is the intrinsic curiosity of the landscape that I know I share with all of you. That is the power of nature and the importance of what we do at Bayard Cutting Arboretum.
This new year brings another great surprise at Bayard Cutting Arboretum. After many years of planning and anticipation, the construction of our new parking lot and Visitor Center is beginning. This project will greatly improve our aging infrastructure and revitalize our visitor experience. In 2021, the arboretum had nearly 500,000 visitors. The new parking lot and Visitor Center will help accommodate our increasing attendance, taking pressure off vulnerable areas like the Manor House and ultimately preserving the historic integrity of the entire arboretum. 
The new parking lot will be constructed of pervious asphalt, reducing rain runoff and helping to filter pollutants that contribute to the contamination of ground water. There will be a total of 250 spaces, with an increased number of handicap spaces, electric vehicle charging stations, updated LED lighting, and pedestrian paths leading to the Visitor Center. The final phase of the project will include repaving of the entire Main Drive leading to the Manor House.
The Visitor Center is designed by MBB Architects. It is a 1,570 square foot one story building featuring a welcome desk, museum shop, public bathrooms, and an exhibit area. The center will provide a point of orientation for patrons to navigate their visit. Exhibits will explore Bayard Cutting Arboretum's rich history and the importance of its collections and natural areas. It will highlight what makes Bayard Cutting Arboretum so special and engage visitors to experience the arboretum in new ways. 
The parking lot and landscape is designed by Starr Whitehouse Landscape Architects. One hundred new trees and shrubs, and thousands of new perennial plants will be planted, complimenting the existing design and plant palette, while introducing new taxa never before planted at the arboretum. We are extremely excited about the horticulture. It is rare that we have the opportunity to make this many plant introductions at once. This year’s horticultural symposium, “Evolution of the American Landscape – Right Plant, Right Place Revisited”, will explore the horticultural practices we will put into place for this project; historic tree preservation, tree selection for tough conditions, and designing sustainable landscapes in anticipation of a changing environment. Registration and Information Link. The symposium will give attendees a unique view into the future of the arboretum.
We ask for your patience and support during the upcoming construction. There will be some disruptions to our normal operations. Some of our regular events may need to be rescheduled. We will be limited to 100 parking spaces during the first phase of construction until May of 2023. During the second phase of construction, May 2023 to spring 2024, we will be limited to 150 spaces. The completed parking lot and new Visitor Center will open in spring of 2024.
Most of all, we ask that you share in our excitement as we implement these changes and look forward to the future! Thanks to NYS Parks and the Bayard Cutting Arboretum Board of Trustees we will be entering into a new era of growth at the arboretum. The community that supports Bayard Cutting Arboretum is like no other. Every one of our patrons, volunteers, docents, and staff contribute to the unique stewardship that sustains the arboretum. I invite each and every one of you to play an active part in our future and support Bayard Cutting Arboretum. 
As much as things may change, they will stay the same. Improvements that are being made are to preserve what we already have and enhance what already makes us special. As Director of Bayard Cutting Arboretum, speaking for all our dedicated employees, we will continue to protect our “oasis of quiet and beauty” and ensure that it is safe guarded going into the future. 

HAPPY NEW YEAR! We look forward to seeing you in 2023.
Kevin Wiecks, Director
Upcoming Events
5th Annual Evolution of the American Landscape:
Right Plant, Right Place REVISITED!
Monday, February 27, 2023ay, February 27, 2
In-Person and Live Stream Ticket Options.
Bayard Cutting Arboretum Horticultural Society Meeting
Upper Carriage House at 1:00 pm
Cost per person: $40
Upcoming Dates: January 7th, February 4th
For more info and to sign up: website
Join certified forest therapy guide, Linda Lombardo of Wild Heart Nature Connection, on a walk to reconnect with the natural world around us.
Arboretum House and Grounds Tours
Call (631) 581-1002 for more details
Gift Shop
The gift shop will be open on Thursday - Sunday from 11am-4pm. Stop by at the Manor House to visit the gift shop!
Help Support Bayard Cutting Arboretum
Tax deductible donations can also be made by check payable to
Natural Heritage Trust and mailed to
Bayard Cutting Arboretum, PO Box 907, Great River, NY 11739