Billings, Montana @ ZooMontana
"The mission of the Yellowstone Arboretum is to cultivate arboreta appreciation and understanding of our local heritage through public education, organic preservation and stewardship of our natural environment."
An Arboretum is a devoted area set aside for specimen plantings of trees, woody shrubs and vines. Distinct from a forest, nursery or park, it is in a sense an outdoor museum of trees. It is a place where many historical varieties of trees are grown for research, educational, and ornamental purposes and where trees and shrubs are cultivated for exhibition.
There are several reasons for a community to support an arboretum. One reason is that as more people take an interest in caring for their own home environment, it is valuable to have a location where they can see and compare mature plants and to study the different varieties that they may wish to include around their own homes.
Another important role the arboretum plays is in the area of conservation and preservation. Just as zoos have played a vital role in educating people about animals and their habitats and preserving endangered species, arboretums are places where endangered plants and trees can be protected and propagated to preserve the biological diversity of our planet.
A third vital role an arboretum plays in the community is providing an aesthetically pleasing place for people to visit and enjoy. “Green space” is important for not only the physical health of people but also for the spiritual and emotional health of individuals and communities who want to feel in touch with their environment