The Viles Arboretum
In 1981 the Maine Forest Service began development of the Arboretum. During that year, 120 trees were planted and construction of fences, bridges, trails, and a boardwalk began. In 1982, a private non-profit corporation was formed to manage the 224-acre preserve. In 1990, the Viles Visitors Center was built. An Education Wing was added in 2003.
In 1990, the Viles Visitors Center was completed and an executive director was hired. In 1992, a 99- year lease was signed with the Department of Conservation, administered by the Bureau of Parks and Lands. Since 1982, the Arboretum has been managed by a Board of Directors. In 2010, the Arboretum was officially named Viles Arboretum to honor William Payson Viles (1986) and Elsie Pike Viles (2013), who were instrumental in establishing the Arboretum and in providing guidance and financial support.
In June of 1991, the Arboretum was certified as a Demonstration Tree Farm. The Hosta Collection was brought to Maine from Massachusetts when the Arnold Arboretum sold the Case Estates in 1992. The Arboretum is continuously adding to its collection of trees and plants, its educational activities, programs, events and its trail system.
Current activities of special note in clude the "Shifting Gears Initiative", bringing art to the Arboretum as a way of introducing visitors to art through nature and nature through art, installation of interpretive panels for twenty of our botanical collections and a whoile new botanical labelling effort using the same protocol and labels as used at the Arnold Arboretum.
There are always new programs, field trips, events and celebrations being announced so be sure to check our calendar of events and our Facebook page.