Wesleyan Arboretum

Two boys hiking in the arboretum holding up the map

Pine Warbler perched on limb in the arboretum

People sit around the firepit with the cabin int he background.

Not only is The arboretum an ecological study area, wildlife refuge, it's also a great place to hike.

Accredited by the Morton Registry of Arboreta in 2013, the arboretum comprises 100 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 nine species of turtles, fourteen species of frogs native and game fish. The Dice Anderson Cabin, built in 1938, restored in 1990 — and renovated in 2011 — and the Ellen Ann Edenfield Pavilion, built in 2011, serve as rustic focal points for classes, meetings, and special events. More than three miles of trails interlace the forest and provide year-round opportunities for strolling, hiking and cross-country running. Download the Arboretum map.

The area is a remarkable resource not only for recreation and reflection, but also for use as an outdoor learning laboratory that will promote a nature-smart curriculum for Wesleyan faculty and students as well as local teachers and school children, youth organizations, researchers and residents.

Wesleyan is cooperating with 100+ schools across the United States forming the American College & University Presidents’ Climate Commitment (ACUPCC). 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.”

Wesleyan College Arboretum Community Extension

As a member of the Macon-Bibb community you are cordially invited to consider participation in five new community outreach programs, scheduled to start in Fall of 2024:

FotA – Friends of the Arboretum
  • The Wesleyan College Arboretum with its 100 acres of urban forest, 3 miles of trails, and 5 acre Foster Lake is maintained by volunteer labor for open access by the College and the communities it serves.
     
  • The natural trails of the Arb are extensively used by members of the greater Macon-Bibb community for walking, jogging, exercising dogs, and enjoying an oasis of tranquility.
     
  • Friends of the Arboretum is an auxiliary group which gives you the opportunity to support this unique outdoor resource for yourself, your family, and your neighbors in central Georgia.
     
  • Your contribution may be expressed through either monetary support or the contribution of labor to maintain and enhance the forest, lake, and trails.
     
  • As a member of FotA, you will be invited to share with fellow members in unique social, experiential, and educational events throughout the year and you will be offered priority and discounts on other Arb programs and events.
MitA – Music in the Arb
  • The Anderson Cabin and Edenfield Pavilion are unique venues for enjoying folk and classical music performances surrounded by Nature.
     
  • Music in the Arb brings local and regional musical artists to these venues to share their talent with you in an intimate, small audience setting.
     
  • Music in the Arb encourages you to share food and fellowship with these exceptional and often under-appreciated musicians.
     
  • At Music in the Arb live concerts you can interact directly with local support networks to share your appreciation of music with your Macon and Wesleyan neighbors.
     
  • Music in the Arb will sponsor up to three concerts in the cabin, pavilion, and/or Pierce Chapel each year, supported by nominal attendance fees.
WAFT – Wesleyan Arboretum Farm to Table
  • The Farm to Table movement exists to strengthen ties between local growers and consumers and to educate the public about sustainable agriculture and local food sourcing.
     
  • Central Georgia is home to many growers who practice organic and low environmental impact farming and market their produce directly to consumers and locally-sourced restaurants.
     
  • Farm to Table dinners are a great way to bring community members who are trying to source their own food in a sustainable manner together with like-minded growers and restauranteurs.
     
  • These dinners allow you the opportunity to learn what foods are seasonally available in central Georgia, how to access these food supplies directly from the producers, and how to turn them into healthy and delicious meals.
     
  • WAFT, in cooperation with local growers and restaurants, will sponsor at least one Farm to Table dinner annually in the cabin/pavilion area of the Wesleyan College Arboretum.
AGATE – Adopted Grove and Trail Extension
  • The Wesleyan College Arboretum currently has areas that are overgrown with invasive plants such as privet and thorny olive which are not native to Georgia.
     
  • As an integral part of our multi-year Arb development plan we are clearing these areas of invasives and replanting them with native trees, shrubs, and herbs, some of which are rare or endangered in central Georgia.
     
  • The AGATE program is an opportunity for your family or group to learn about native plant restoration, help us find and select native plants, and share in our efforts to establish them in the Arboretum.
     
  • By adopting a tree, grove, plot, or trail section you can introduce, nurture, and maintain some of these unique plants, increasing botanical diversity and making this area your own special place in the Arb.
     
  • Your plot will be marked with a small plaque, acknowledging your contribution and helping other visitors learn more about these native Georgia plants and restoration practices.
SEAC – Sustainability & Environmental Advocacy Colloquia
  • This annual colloquium series will bring in experts and organizers who are helping shape our future interactions with the planet, both locally and globally.
     
  • Topics for this series may include urban forestry, wetland restoration, reducing energy consumption, distributed energy production technologies, renewable energy sources, environmental justice, and practical advocacy for social and political change.
     
  • The lectures and discussions will provide opportunities for you to learn about current and emerging sustainability issues.
     
  • The colloquia will also provide opportunities for you to network with both experts and advocacy groups from central Georgia and other regions.
     
  • If you are interested in learning about sustainability issues, what will be required of all of us to ensure the long term viability and prosperity of humanity, and what you can do to help make this future happen, then this lecture series is for you!

Interested?

Please use the linked form to provide contact information, express your interest in specific Arboretum community programs, and/or request additional information about the Wesleyan College Arboretum and its programs.

Access the form here!

Arboretum policies and Reservations

Facilities within the Wesleyan Arboretum — such as the Anderson Cabin and the Edenfield Pavilion — exist for the use and enjoyment of the Wesleyan community and for promoting awareness and appreciation of the natural world within both Wesleyan College and its surrounding community. Wesleyan College has always cherished our beautiful campus. We invite all to enjoy the blessing that our Arboretum can share whether a short hike, skipping stones in the creek or having a picnic in the Edenfield Pavilion. That said, there are a few rules we need you to follow.

Contact Us:

 

General Trail Policies

Policies for use of the Wesleyan Arboretum are intended to preserve this area as a natural space for the continuing enjoyment of Wesleyan and the surrounding community. We welcome visitors who respect and observe the following conditions:

  • Visitors to the Arboretum agree to be personally responsible for any damage, injury, or illness experienced while visiting the Arboretum, and further agree not to hold Wesleyan College responsible or make any claims against the College, its students, or its employees.
  • The Wesleyan Arboretum is open from sunrise to sunset every day. Please park only in designated Wesleyan campus parking lots and not on grassy areas or trails. Please do not park on residential streets adjoining the campus.
  • Many visitors to the Arboretum are seeking a quiet, natural experience. Please be courteous to other visitors.
  • Casual use of the pavilion and other outdoor spaces is available to all visitors, provided that it does not interfere with similar use by other visitors. Groups reserving the cabin, pavilion and/or trail system for exclusive use must have a sponsor who is a regular, full-time employee of the College, who attends the entire event; this idividual assumes responsibility for the event, its participants and the College facilities. 
  • Group events involving planned activities in the Arboretum sponsored by organizations other that Wesleyan College must notify the Arboretum Director and receive permission well in advance of the scheduled activity. Groups and organizations violating this policy may be directed to leave.
  • Motorized vehicles, horses and bicycles are not permitted. Fires, fireworks, weapons or toy weapons of any kind, devices that launch or fire projectiles, alcohol, hunting and trapping are strictly prohibited.
  • You are strongly encouraged to use personal insect repellant, especially during spring and fall. However, please do not use any powder, spray, or aerosol pesticides or herbicides in the Arboretum or near the lake. If you are concerned that an infestation will interfere with a planned event in the Arboretum, please contact the Wesleyan Physical Plant at (478) 757-5140.
  • The Arboretum operates under a general “Leave no Trace” philosophy. You are free to wander on and off the trails, but please do not pick flowers, damage plants or trees, disturb animals or make any permanent trail markings. Please leave the trails, forest and streams in a natural state. Please do not make any lasting alterations to the trails, forest, or streams including, but not limited to, clearing trails, affixing signs to trees, constructing rock stacks or sculptures and any use of paint or non-natural materials. Please avoid leaving the trails in areas marked or flagged for native plant restoration or ecological study.
  • Well-mannered dogs on a leash and under strict voice control are welcome. However, the Wesleyan Campus is not a community dog-park and accommodating dogs is not a mission of the Arboretum. Please respect all other visitors and keep all trail and clearing areas free of animal waste. Please distribute waste to well off the trails or carry it out and dispose of it yourself off campus. Do not leave bagged animal waste by the trails, at the entrances or in the woods.
  • Placement of geocaches, "searchable items" or other fixtures/installations in the Arboretum must have prior approval of the Arboretum Director and Wesleyan College. The College is not responsible for any items placed or left unattended in the Arboretum
  • Please carry all trash out to the bins at the trailheads. 
  • In case of emergency, call the Wesleyan College Campus Police: 
    • Radio: (478) 757-5145
    • Mobile (emergency): (478) 960-7969
Anderson Cabin and Edenfield Pavilion Use Policies

Casual use of the pavilion, cabin porch and lawn areas (for resting, picnicking, etc.) by individual visitors to the Arboretum is encouraged and appropriate whenever the space has not been reserved by a group. Exclusive use use of the cabin or pavilion requires a reservation, made through the campus reservation desk at (478) 757-5233. 

Any group reserving the Anderson Cabin and/or Edenfield pavilion must fill out and submit the Registration for Events in the Anderson Cabin and Edenfield Pavilion form, documenting the time, nature and requirements of the event, the contact and sponsoring persons and an agreement to read and abide by the rules for use of these facilities.

Any group wishing to use these spaces must arrange for a regular, full-time employee of Wesleyan College to attend the entire event and take full responsibility for the event, its participants, and the College facilities. Groups may be charged a nominal usage/custodial fee. The College reserves the right to to deny use for any event which is not compatible with the mission of the College and/or maintenance of these areas as rustic spaces. Access to the cabin and pavilion is primarily by foot and events which require motor vehicle traffic to the cabin/pavilion area will generally not be permitted.

In order to maintain the quality of the trails for recreational walking and running, motor vehicle use on any of the Arboretum trails, including the service road to the cabin and pavilion, is not allowed without express permission. Please do not make any lasting alterations to the trails, forest or streams; this includes, but is not limited to: clearing trails, affixing signs to trees, rock stacks/sculptures and any use of paint.

Reserved use of the Arboretum trail system for formal events may limit trail access by casual visitors and preclude reserved access to and use of the cabin and pavilion by groups.

Rules for Use of the Cabin and Pavilion:

  • Reservations for group events are to made at (478) 757-5233 and must include prior submission of a completed registration form. Any such event must be sponsored by a regular, full-time employee of the College.
  • In the event of any emergency involving the cabin/pavilion area, please immediately call the Wesleyan Police at (478) 757-5145. The chain across the access road may be unlocked with the cabin key to provide access for emergency vehicles.
  • Smoking anywhere in the Arboretum, including the cabin and pavilion, is not allowed.
  • Any use of open flames, including candles, lamps, torches, open-flame grilling, or fires in either the cabin fireplace or the outside fire pit, requires special permission of and arrangements through the Arboretum Committee. Fire building outside of the established fireplace and fire pit is expressly forbidden.
  • Use of alcohol anywhere in the Arboretum is subject to the rules and restrictions of alcohol use on the Wesleyan campus. This means that for most group events serving and consuming alcoholic beverages is not allowed.
  • Please do not use herbicides, pesticides, or any other types of poison, with the exception of personal insect repellant, in the Arboretum.
  • Staying overnight anywhere in the Arboretum, including the cabin/pavilion area, is not allowed without the express permission of the Arboretum Committee and notification of the Wesleyan Police.
  • The cabin and pavilion are accessible only by foot. Any use of motorized vehicles past the trailhead by the tennis courts must have the express permission of the Arboretum Committee. Motor vehicles are not to be used on any part of the trail system except the direct access road to the cabin or in the case of a medical emergency. In general, the chain across the entrance to this access road and the interior loop trail should remain up and locked, unless emergency access is required. Visitors are permitted to use the wheeled garden cart (in the storage shed) for moving supplies.
  • The only outdoor potable water source in the Arboretum is the watering station at the Anderson Cabin. Casual visitors to the Arboretum may also use the drinking fountains and restrooms in the Mathews Athletic Center during normal daylight hours. Reserved groups may use the cabin restroom and the kitchen faucet.
  • There are no permanent outdoor trash cans in the cabin/pavilion area and trash must not be left in the cabin. All trash must be packed out to the trailhead bins by casual visitors and by groups after each event. It is especially important to remove all organic trash (food materials, etc.) from the interior of the cabin after each event. There are supplies of trash bags in the kitchen and storage shed for this purpose. Please make sure that the trash bin at the Mathews Athletic Center trailhead is securely closed (to exclude animals) after each use.
  • All food preparation, serving and eating utensils must be washed after use. Any non-perishable food or beverages left in the cabin should be sealed in insect and animal-proof containers. Perishable food and beverages may be stored in the refrigerator or freezer for no more than 48 hours. Food and beverages should not be left unattended in the pavilion.
  • The storage shed (just past the clearing) contains trash bags, outdoor trash cans for temporary use, a garden cart for moving materials along the trails, folding tables and folding chairs. These are generally available to groups reserving the cabin and/or pavilion. Please return all materials — including empty trash cans — to the shed and relock the shed after each use.
  • Some materials for class or meeting use, such as a projector and portable screen, are stored in the cabin office. If you plan to use these, please make arrangements at the time of your reservation to get office and cabinet keys. Please return these materials to the office and cabinet at the end of your event. The office itself is not part of the cabin space regularly available for group use, so please keep the office closed during your event and make sure that it is locked before you leave.
  • The cabin has a WiFi hub, located in the kitchen. You are free to use this WiFi hub, but please be courteous and avoid excessive downloading/uploading/ bandwidth use. Use the standard college network login for access. 
Cabin and Pavilion Reservations

All reservations for use of the Dice R. Anderson Cabin and/or the Ellen Ann Edenfield Pavilion in the Wesleyan Arboretum must be made through the Wesleyan campus (478) 757-5233.

Use of these facilities is available to both Wesleyan College groups and groups from the surrounding central Georgia community. However, the following restrictions do apply:

  • As part of the reservation and approval process each group MUST complete and submit the downloaded registration information form. Once completed, please email document to events@wesleyancollege.edu for approval of your event.
  • Groups wishing to use these facilities must arrange for a regular, full-time employee of Wesleyan College to attend the entire event and take full responsibility for the event, its participants and the College facilities.
  • Groups must agree to follow ALL of the College and Arboretum policies under the General Trail Policies and Anderson Cabin & Edenfield Pavilion Use Policies listed above.
  • Access to the cabin and pavilion is generally by FOOT TRAFFIC ONLY.
  • Specific permission and special arrangements will be required for the use of fires, open flames, alcoholic beverages or special setups.
  • Wesleyan College reserves the right to deny use to any group or for any activity which, in the judgment of the College, is not in keeping with both the mission of the College and reasonable, safe and sustainable use of these facilities.

 
A Tufted Titmouse spotted in the Arboretum

Spotted Tufted Titmouse munching away on an acorn in the Arboretum.

Sighting Check Lists

The Wesleyan Biology Department maintains records of arboretum biodiversity in the form of four accumulating checklists. These are extended and updated as new reliable observations and identifications occur. Download a checklist and begin marking your sightings.

nature's classroom

Female graduate icon wearing graduating cap and glasses

10o

Number of acres of mixed pines and hardwood forest in the arboretum.

Dollar sign icon in between holding hands

3

Number of miles of walking trails in the arboretum.

excellence icon represented by three buildings with stars over them

150

Number of species of resident and migratory birds in the arboretum.

Wesleyan College Arboretum History

A group of women standing outside of the original anderson cabin in the arb

Established in 1996 as an ecological study area, The Wesleyan College Arboretum serves as a wildlife refuge, and recreation resource for the college.

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.

Top Reasons To Visit Wesleyan's Arboretum

The Outdoors

Take a walk on the many trails we have to offer adding up to around 3 miles.

Animal Friendly

Bring the pups and the kids to enjoy the great outdoors.

Education

Take the kids to the outdoor class room.

Host an event

Enjoy a gathering in Anderson cabin.

Calendar of Events

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 1-5PM and on Wesleyan Market Saturdays from 10AM-2PM.

Event listing

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NCAA Division III Athletics

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.

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