The Wesleyan College Arboretum was established in 1996 as an ecological study area, wildlife refuge, and recreation resource for the college. The arboretum comprises 104 acres of mixed pine and hardwood forest and lies within the boundaries of Wesleyan's suburban Rivoli campus. More than 100 species of trees, shrubs and woody vines provide habitat for a diverse assortment of salamanders, snakes, lizards and mammals, as well as more than 150 species of resident and migratory birds. The five-acre Foster Lake, three streams, and seasonal rain pools are home to 9 species of turtles, 14 species of frogs, and both native and game fish. The Dice R. Anderson Cabin, built in 1990, and the Ellen Ann Edenfield Pavilion, built in 2011, serve as rustic focal points for classes, meetings, and special events. More than two miles of trails interlace the forest and provide year-round opportunities for strolling, hiking, and cross-country running.
Dice R. Anderson Cabin
The arboretum is managed and maintained by its director Dr. James Ferrari of the Wesleyan Biology Department, and supports student and faculty projects in Wesleyan's Biology, Chemistry, Education, Environmental Studies, and Studio Art programs. Recent ecology research projects include heavy metal concentrations in turtles, tree-boring preferences of yellow-bellied sapsuckers, foraging preferences and lipid content of berries consumed by migratory birds, and seasonal variations in vulture flight patterns.
Wesleyan's Go Green page is an access point for information about environmentally-responsive "green" projects at Wesleyan and in the surrounding Macon community. Maintaining a healthy, diverse, and well-managed forest is integral to the President's Climate Commitment, a project directed at energy conservation, as well as reducing Wesleyan's environmental impact and "carbon footprint". In this ongoing project Wesleyan is cooperating with 100+ schools across the United States forming the American College & University Presidents' Climate Commitment (ACUPCC). Student groups such as the Environmental Concerns Committee and the Beta Beta Beta Biological Honor Society collaborate in periodic lake cleanup and trail restoration days. Dr. Ferrari and Dr. Venus Roberts recently completed a project to assess carbon sequestration by trees on the front campus and in the arboretum using the Urban Forest Effects Model (UFORE), under a grant from the Georgia Forestry Commission. Faculty and students, as well as members of the greater Macon community also biannually traverse the arboretum while conducting migratory bird counts hosted by the Ocmulgee Audubon Society and Georgia Ornithological Society.