As you walk the Blackwell Footpath notice this urban wild is different from the rest of the Arnold Arboretum landscape. The Arboretum is managed through a unique public-private partnership between the City of Boston and Harvard University. Bussey Brook Meadow was added to the Arboretum in 1996 through the generosity and dedication of the Arboretum Park Conservancy.
|Staghorn sumac (Rhus typhina) next to Blackwell Footpath|
What is now the Arboretum landscape were farms and orchards in the past. Then and now, the north-facing slope of Peters Hill features fruit trees. The Welcome panel says:
In the past this land was farmed , then abandoned, then used as a dump. Plants here are historically native to this area, many are invasive, and some are exotics that have self-seeded from across the street. Many birds and animals inhabit this place as well.
The urban wild continues east of Bussey Brook Meadow as a patchwork of forest-like tree stands with cultivated areas including special gardens and plant collections. Farther northwest you'll find another beautiful path, the Linden Path, cultivated areas such as the Leventritt Garden and the Hunnewell Building housing the Arboretum's visitor center.