When people remark at the splendor of the Wesleyan campus - and everyone does – they often mention the classic building architecture, consistency of design, or the spacious layout of the campus. But what really provides a ‘bow on the package’ is the trees. Since the Rivoli campus was built in 1928, the Wesleyan College property has transitioned from a dairy farm (cow pasture) to one of the richest and most diverse tree canopies in Middle Georgia.
Whatever trees existed on the original site of the Rivoli campus were probably lost during construction in the 1920s. Old photos of the new campus show massive lawns, indicating that tree planting began in the 1930s with stately oaks along the main quad as a central feature. The wooded back campus, known as the Arboretum, was allowed to grow undisturbed.
Through the years, planting on campus has continued. Massive magnolia trees greet visitors to campus with year-around Southern charm. Groves of Yoshino cherry trees provide the backdrop for a grand finale of Macon’s Cherry Blossom Festival each March. Towering oaks offer shady relief from the summer sun. The leaves of the ginkgos provide a pure golden background for pictures and picnics every autumn.
Today more than ever, the focus is on preserving Wesleyan’s treasure trove of trees. In 2007, then President Ruth Knox ’75 declared “a long-term plan for our landscaping, including how to replace trees that we lose, plan for losses in advance, and maintain what we have.” The College regularly engages in tree inventories to assess and manage the health and safety of the trees, which include the removal of decaying trees, the pruning of others, and fertilization of the larger trees around the main quadrangle. The plan includes a commitment that for every two trees removed, three trees must be planted.
Preservation of Wesleyan’s vertical landscape is supported by many efforts. A team led by faculty continues to develop a variety of trails and uses for the Arboretum, including the removal of invasive plants that threaten the health of the natural forest. Macon’s Cherry Blossom Festival has donated several cherry trees to Wesleyan in honor of the Cherry Blossom queen and her court. The Adopt-A-Tree program offers friends of the College an opportunity to contribute, and the Sustainability Committee helps ensure that efforts continue.
As our trees grow, so does our commitment to protect and improve these valuable assets. In years to come, our trees will provide not only shade and beauty, but a sense of continuity and tradition for future generations at Wesleyan.
Wesleyan College is privileged to steward many arts and cultural events and share them with the community. Most are free and open to the public. Wesleyan art galleries are open M-F 1:30 – 5:00 PM and on Wesleyan Market Saturdays from 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM.View More
Tour our beautiful 200-acre campus featuring Georgian architecture, lush green spaces, recreational facilities, residence halls, and worship center.Tour Now
Wesleyan College is home to five NCAA Division III sports: soccer, basketball, volleyball, tennis, and softball. In addition, we offer an award-winning Intercollegiate Horse Show Association (IHSA) Equestrian program.Learn More