Bernheim at 90: Celebrating our plant collections

By Hannah Hunt

In 1929, Mr. Bernheim bought and endowed the land that would become Bernheim Forest, now over 16,137 acres. Mr. Bernheim wanted to provide a place for the renewal and restoration of the bond between people and nature. His vision included the combination of an arboretum and natural forested areas infused with the arts, to create a unique site to experience nature. To make his vision a reality was not easy.  Due to the land’s previous use by the sale and iron ore industries, the landscape at the time of his purchase was heavily abused and nearly devoid of trees.

Between 1929 and 1950, workers prepared the land for its donor’s intentions. As a testament to Isaac W. Bernheim’s vision and perseverance, Bernheim today is home to a nationally-renowned 600-acre arboretum with over 8,000 varieties of documented trees, shrubs and herbaceous perennials in the arboretum, including the celebrated Hubbuch Holly Collection with over 300 specimens, and continues to expand.

In celebration of our 90th anniversary, we are highlighting some of the activities we do at Bernheim to connect people with nature and with the impending arrival of spring, we will spotlight some of the plants our Horticulture Department maintains. Follow along over the next few weeks as we spotlight some of our most popular collections.

In 2019, Bernheim celebrates 90 years of connecting people with nature. At over 25 square miles, Bernheim is the largest privately held forest dedicated to conservation and education in the region. Our arboretum is home to plant collections of over 8,000 varieties, public art, and educational programming for thousands of students.  Our pristine forest hosts hikers and outdoor adventures alongside research and conservation projects which will serve to protect the environment for future generations.

As a 100% member and donor supported organization, we could not fulfill this important mission without you. We hope you’ll continue to support our efforts throughout the next 90 years.  Join or donate by clicking here.

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