Sunday, February 5, 2012

Wilbur D. May Arboretum and Society, Reno, Nevada

The Wilbur D. May Arboretum in Reno is located southwest of the intersection of North McCarran Blvd. and North Virginia Street. The arboretum is a living museum featuring plants in a transitional zone with an arid climate between the Sierra Nevada Mountains and the Great Basin Desert [1]. In addition to local species, the arboretum also showcases plants native to other parts of North America, such as the shown honey locust from Illinois (tolerating drought and poor soils), and shrubs and trees from around the world.

Information about upcoming events, workshops and volunteer opportunities is given by the nonprofit May Arboretum Society, which recently premiered its new website [2,3].
A panel at the arboretum informs that it was initially created in 1982 through funding from the Wilbur May Foundation in memory of Wilbur D. May, a generous philanthropist during his lifetime, who left a legacy to the community with the May Center. Further, the panel describes the extreme locality conditions under which the plants—although being nursed—have to grow and delight visitors: 

The Wilbur D. May Arboretum and Botanical Garden is located at an elevation of 4,600 feet on the foothills of Peavine Mountain where the Sierra Nevada Mountain Range meets the Great Basin Desert. Daily temperature ranges can fluctuate 50 degrees [Fahrenheit scale] or more and the average annual precipitation is only seven inches. The majority of the precipitation comes in the form of rain and snow in the cool winter months with hot, dry summers and strong winds throughout a majority of the year. Very few plants can survive in these conditions without human assistance.

Not much precipitation in any form has come so far in this winter's months.

References and links
[1] Washoe County Nevada > Regional Parks and Open Space > May Arboretum:
[2] Lenita Powers: Wilbur D. May Arboretum blooms online  [].
[3] May Arboretum Society:

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