Cal State Fullerton News California State University, Fullerton
Public Affairs
800 N. State College Blvd. Fullerton, CA 92632
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October 12, 2004 :: No. 55

Groundbreaking For New Center
to Highlight Fullerton Arboretum’s 25th Anniversary

Among the flora and fauna of the Fullerton Arboretum is the quickly developing foundation for a new visitors center. With large simple roof forms and gabled structures reminiscent of the packing houses that were at the heart of Orange County’s agrarian history, the three-building, 11,000 square-foot complex will comprise a visitor center, conference center and museum — all surrounding a large courtyard. Additionally, each element of the facility, designed by Dougherty and Dougherty Architects, will include examples in how to be resource and energy efficient.

The official groundbreaking ceremony for the $2.7 million facility is scheduled for 2-4 p.m. Thursday, Oct. 21, as part of the Fullerton Arboretum’s monthlong 25th anniversary celebration. Among the event’s speakers will be: Milton A. Gordon, president of Cal State Fullerton; Mike Clesceri, mayor of Fullerton; Jerry Young of the Fullerton Arboretum Commission; and James Kilponen, president of the Friends of the Fullerton Arboretum.

Scheduled to open its doors in August 2005, the new center will enhance the 26-acre preserve’s educational mission and support community functions, as well as further an understanding of our environment, according to Greg Dyment, director of the Fullerton Arboretum.

“We’re very happy to see this project moving forward, and look forward to occupying this building and serving the university and the community of north Orange County,” says Dyment.

Guests will enter the arboretum through the visitors center, where a gift shop and plant sales area will be housed. The conference center will host seminars, classes, banquets and events for up to 350 attendees.

Serving as the focal point of the project will be a museum that will feature Orange County’s agricultural and Nikkei heritage — spotlighting the rich agricultural legacy of Orange County and the Japanese-American community’s contributions to that chronicle.

The Friends of the Fullerton Arboretum have scheduled several events during the 25th anniversary commemoration, including the Fall Planting Festival - GreenScene II Oct. 16 and 17, Music and Art in the Garden Community Celebration Oct. 24 and, in keeping with the spirit of Halloween, the Haunted Garden Oct. 29 and 30.

Media Contacts: Gail Matsunaga, Public Affairs, 657-278-4851 or
Lore McKenna, Friends of the Fullerton Arboretum, 657-278-4792 or