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What is an Arboretum?

An arboretum is a place where trees, plants, and shrubs are identified and maintained for their educational and aesthetic value.

At St. Mary’s College, more than 300 acres of developed and undeveloped land showcase a variety of southern Maryland plant life. Land and water come together here; plants large and small help to maintain and filter soil and waters flowing into the St. Mary’s River, and the river’s currents and wildlife in turn influence what thrives along the shoreline and surrounding acreage.

Generations of students have come to this place to obtain a liberal arts education, which promotes a commitment to lifelong learning. What they study in the arts, sciences, and humanities we hope produces an appreciation for the unique landscape that is St. Mary’s. Here, one is struck daily by the interconnected elements of water, sky, and shoreline, an awareness that can foster a concern for the natural environment that will inform our graduates’ beliefs and actions in subsequent years wherever they choose to live.

Historic Walking Trails

At Historic St. Mary’s City

There are over 5 miles of walking trails at Historic St. Mary’s City. Approximately 3 miles of paved walkways take visitors between HSMC Visitor Center, the museum’s living history exhibits, and through the campus of St. Mary’s College of Maryland to St. John’s Site Museum.


Tickets are required for visitors to the living history areas. Please visit for museum hours. Hikers can traverse a rustic 3.2 mile pathway through natural areas without tickets.


This trail travels through woods and fields along Milburn Creek and the St. Mary’s River and offers numerous opportunities to discover the native flora and fauna of the tidewater region. A brochure with a map and notes on historic and natural features is available at the trail head. The natural trails at HSMC are maintained by a dedicated crew of volunteers and are open daily from dawn to dusk. Both walks begin at the HSMC Visitor Center, 18751 Hogaboom Lane, St. Mary’s City.

For more information on the trails, exhibits or volunteers, e-mail or call 240-895-4990 or 800-SMC-1634.

St. Mary’s Walking Arboretum Biodiversity Tour Map

Support the Arboretum

There are numerous ways for you to give to the Arboretum, and improve the campus landscape. Gifts to the Arboretum at any level are appreciated and special gifts of $1,000 or more are recognized by the naming of trees and benches around the campus.

Adopt a Tree

Price: $1000
Select (or have our staff select for you) an existing campus tree to ‘adopt’ and label. The donation will cover the cost of labeling the tree (including an official St. Mary’s Arboretum label of tree type, and database entry). Your $1,000 donation also includes a simple dedication label.

For example: “Remembering John Smith, ’77” or “honoring the Arnold family of Laurel, Maryland.”

Adopt a Bench

Price: $2500
Select (or have our staff select for you) an existing campus bench to ‘adopt’ and label. As with adopting a tree, you would be able to provide the inscription for the name plate for the bench.

Install a Bench

Price: $3500
You can have a new bench installed on campus, at a place to be determined by you and our Arboretum Committee. Again, all procedures above apply.

The Arboretum Committee will review all proposed dedication labels prior to their purchase and installation by the College’s grounds staff.

Stay Connected

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