The UCF Arboretum is celebrating the completion of a new campus greenhouse that will support its educational and research efforts.

The public is invited to a ribbon cutting and open house that will take place from 2-4 p.m. on Friday, March 25. Light appetizers and a cash bar will be available during the festivities. The new structure is located near the Physical Sciences Building and just east of parking lot C3.

The original campus greenhouse, the Stockard Conservatory, was dismantled in 2005 due to damage from hurricanes and aging infrastructure. The new greenhouse will be a 1,000-square-foot glass-enclosed facility with actuators controlling ventilation to maintain optimal temperatures for the plant life.

“The Arboretum greenhouse will be a hub for demonstrating and sharing our knowledge about propagation and public horticulture, as well as a space to support teaching and research activities. We are thrilled to have this important addition to our campus facilities,” said Patrick Bohlen, director of the UCF Department of Landscape and Natural Resources & Arboretum.

The Arboretum will use the greenhouse to grow plants for distribution across campus landscapes, natural areas and the volunteer-run community garden. Threatened and endangered plant species will also be cultivated for campus restoration projects.

Volunteers, interns and independent-study students will be able to work on projects and learn specialized skills such as plant propagation, the process of creating new plants. In addition, the greenhouse will also be home to biology classes such as medicinal botany, as well as be available for class tours from nearby public schools.

The UCF Arboretum was founded in 1983 by then UCF President Trevor Colbourn. It supports several initiatives to enhance campus landscapes and increase community awareness and understanding of urban ecology, natural resource conservation and environmental cultivation. More information on its activities can be found on its website.