Welcome back to National Parks and other public lands with T!
Laurelwood Arboretum is a public park in Wayne, New Jersey. It was once a garden center and privately owned by Dorothy and John Knippenberg. In the beginning, they specialized in Rhododendrons and Azaleas in the 1940s and 1950s.
In the 1960s, the Knippenbergs began to convert the property from a commercial nursery to an arboretum. They willed the arboretum to the town of Wayne, stipulating it be maintained as a horticultural preserve. They wanted it open to the public. In 2003, the non-profit Friends of Laurelwood Arboretum formed to help the town manage the gardens.
I visited Laurelwood Arboretum early one morning. I walked some of the trails through the Rhododendron forests. In late May they were all in bloom. The paths meander through woods, over streams and past ponds on 30 acres.
The arboretum has a project underway to install a sculpture trail. I saw a few already in place, including this one, entitled Brickhead Lyemoja by James Tyler. Yemoja is an African goddess. The Yoruba consider her the mother of all gods. I was lucky to see her surrounded by Azalea and Allium blooms.
Designation: Town Park
Date designated or established: 1960’s
Date of my visit: 5/27/2020