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The Hebert Arboretum is open from dawn to dusk, seven days a week, all year. Admission is free.

For more information and to learn how you can contribute to the growth of the Arboretum contact us
- we'd like to hear from you.
 

History

 

The Vincent J. Hebert Arboretum is located within the city of Pittsfield's oldest park, Springside Park, 874 North Street, off Route 7, approximately 2 miles from Park Square and is approximately 231 acres in size. In March of 1990 Vin Hebert, former Pittsfield Parks Superintendent, made a Project Request to Pittsfield Beautiful to help start a group that would develop the Arboretum at Springside Park. He included a master plan titled 'The Arboretum At Springside Park' that was prepared for the Parks Commission in October 1963 by Richard C. Page from the University of Massachusetts.

With initial start-up funding and guidance provided by Pittsfield Beautiful, an Advisory Group with a coordinating committee set out to establish a world-class Arboretum at Springside Park. It worked for a number of years to develop a mission statement, by-laws, committee structure and plans for the long-term sustainability of Hebert Arboretum. During this time, along with volunteers from the community, it worked tirelessly to install gardens, care for trees, and beautify the grounds, historically known as Elmhurst, around Springside House. Thus began the project that became known as the Hebert Arboretum.

The Hebert Arboretum was officially established when it was recognized as a state and federal non-profit organization in 1999. Operating under a board of Directors Hebert Arboretum has made significant strides over the past several years to carry out a dream first envisioned by Vincent J. Hebert, for whom it is named. 'Vin's' hope was to see a thriving public display of gardens and trees within Springside Park for the enjoyment, inspiration, and refreshment of all who happen by.

In 1998 Brian Gibbons, a student at the University of Massachusetts, prepared a thorough assessment of the southwest corner of the Arboretum, and helped the Arboretum create a master plan for that section of the Arboretum.

In May of 1999 Walter Cudnohufsky Associates Preliminary Assessment presented Mr. Cudnohufsky's observations, issues and assessment of the preliminary scope of the work facing the arboretum, including the entire acerage of the park.

Springside House

In the Spring of 2000 Students from the Conway School of Landscape Design worked with the Arboretum Board on a Master Plan for the Southwest corner of the Arboretum which included many new ideas as well as an ecological restoration and landscape design created for the lower pond area off of Springside Avenue.

Today the Arboretum's Master Plan is in development, concentrating at the present time on the groomed southwest corner of the Arboretum and supporting the rest of the park as a natural wildlife habitat.

Hebert Arboretum has participated in Arbor Day activities since 1997, has sponsored numerous nature, bird, wildflower, and stargazing walks and slide shows as well as gardening and pruning workshops. It hosts a summer concert series that is well attended.

Today, visitors to the Arboretum will find many of the specimen (as well as native) trees labeled, a kiosk with maps and literature, the Butterfly and Hummingbird Garden, the Memory Garden, the Vincent J. Hebert Lilac Walk and Daffodil Hill amidst a backdrop of fields, forest, and beautiful Berkshire views.

Hebert Arboretum is open to the creative ideas and participation of the public is committed to providing special place where education and beauty mingle effortlessly.

Elm Allee In the 1800's, a wealthy copper merchant from New York City built a "cottage" on land he owned on upper North Street, now Springside House at Springside Park. Elmhurst, as his home was known, was an opulent place and the grounds were highly manicured and the two entry ways, the original carriage road, were lined with elegant Elms. Since that time the Elm trees died out and were replaced with Silver Maples, now in decline. The Arboretum Master Plan envisioned a re-establishment of the Elms along the historic Elm Allee which has been restored with the help of two generous grants from the Lenox Garden Club and donations from the Friends of Hebert Arboretum.  
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Planting an Elm
Members of the Hebert Arboretum Board of Directors and Friends of the Arboretum planted twenty disease resistant Princeton elms to complete the restoration of the Historic Elm Allee.
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Southwest corner restoration
   
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The Hebert Arboretum - 874 North Street - Pittsfield, MA 01201
In cooperation with Pittsfield Parks Commission, Department of Community Development,
Long Range Park Planning and Pittsfield Beautiful, Inc.
© 2011 Hebert Arboretum