With over a century of history, Pinehurst and its community has changed through the decades. One of the ever changing spaces is Pinehurst Arboretum.
What once started as a landfill from Pinehurst’s early days in the early 1900s to as recently as the 1970s, has changed, developed and transformed into a natural space for the entire community’s pleasure.
And while I do not have family history tied to this space as so many other spaces do, I feel a personal connection to this land. From an early age I was exposed to this developing space and helped with the many projects that made the Arboretum what it is today. All because my mother was on the Village Heritage Foundation Board of Directors, which developed the Pinehurst Arboretum.
Pinehurst Arboretum was started in 2003 after concerns that human growth in the village would take over natural spaces. However, Pinehurst Arboretum wasn’t always a perfect natural space. Once an overgrown unusable landfill with remnants of a burned longleaf pine forest, has been designed into a space where humans and nature can interact with each other and where humans can grow an appreciation for nature. Melding human-made spaces, revitalized forests and natural woods into one. Featuring native grasses, flowers and trees, Pinehurst Arboretum is a unique space with different sections that each boast different parts of the Sandhills.
Joyce’s Meadow, the Pergola Garden, the Magnolia Garden, the Flowering Tree Garden, the Longleaf Pine Savanna, the Woodland Garden, the Native Pollinator Garden, and the Pavilion are all part of the Pinehurst Arboretum. Put together, they are a large natural space, apart they feel like their own worlds, yet are a part of something greater, something that would be a mix of natural and human, that the community has come to love.
While I will be covering the individual sections, I want to highlight one section in particular in my first entry. One of my personal favorites is Joyce’s Meadow, a wide grass space, surrounded by trees and bushes. Joyce’s Meadow, named after the founder Joyce Franke, hosts many events throughout the years, including concerts and weddings, but it is mostly the space of picnics and family gatherings. Wide and open to the sky above, I have spent countless hours here flying kites with my family and playing pickup games of lacrosse with my sister. It is a joy to come here and see the community bond over the use of this particular space.
Before the COVID-19 pandemic activities such as art exhibitions, concerts, weddings and festivals have been held at Pinehurst Arboretum. Attending such events not only brought the community together but also allowed and invited guests to explore the natural world they are in. Weddings became a mix of human and natural. Art exhibitions were enhanced by a natural setting to display art. Concerts were held under the stars as music filled the natural space.
Everything about Pinehurst Arboretum has astounded me… its past, its present, its future. Now the natural world is a part of my village.