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Gabis Arboretum offering free admission during COVID-19 pandemic

Written by Chronicle Staff. Posted in Community News & People in the News

Published on June 17, 2020 with No Comments

Gabis Arboretum at Purdue Northwest welcomes the public to its hiking trails and natural habitat free of charge during this time of social distancing.

The arboretum had been closed to the public since mid-March due to the coronavirus but reopened in early May. The hiking trails are open for visitors daily from 8:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m., while all facilities remain closed until further notice to protect the health and safety of guests and the community. Portable restrooms are available on the grounds.

The Railway Garden, Adventure Garden and Music Garden also remain closed to promote safe social distancing practices. With hiking trails spanning 300 acres, visitors are able to observe social distancing while exploring the property.

Admission to the arboretum is included with all memberships, but admission is free for everyone until the risks of the COVID-19 pandemic are diminished.

“We are proud to offer the arboretum as a resource to our community,” said Stephanie Blackstock, executive director. “In these uncertain times, we want the arboretum to be a destination of respite and health accessible to everyone. Many parents are seeking ways to keep children engaged, and having them experience nature is the perfect outlet.”

The arboretum will not hold on-site public classes through June and does not plan to offer a 2020 summer concert series. Weddings and other facility rentals are still being booked for the future and the arboretum hopes to offer virtual public classes in the fall.

Blackstock noted, “We rely heavily on funding from admission fees, membership and our concert series so we aren’t receiving any revenue right now. We are asking the community to support our operations by donating or purchasing a membership online.”

Gabis Arboretum at Purdue Northwest is a 300-acre, oak preserve of formal gardens, woodlands, wetlands, prairies and hiking trails located near Valparaiso.

For more information about the Gabis Arboretum at Purdue Northwest or to donate, visit www.pnw.edu/gabisarboretum.

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