UW News

July 9, 2015

UW Botanic Gardens ranked top in nation

UW News

The University of Washington Botanic Gardens is one of the best university gardens in the nation, according to a new ranking by Best Colleges Online. The UW tied for first place along with three other universities for the top honor.

a photo of a trail in the arboretum

Azalea Way in the Washington Park Arboretum.Samantha Kimble

UW Botanic Gardens, which includes the gardens and programs at the Washington Park Arboretum and the Center for Urban Horticulture, has a collection of more than 11,000 plants, trees and shrubs. Best Colleges Online cited this large collection and, in particular, the many rare plants at the 230-acre arboretum not found elsewhere in the world.

The UW gardens also were praised for their teaching, stewardship and research opportunities. The judges write: “Conservation is also a visible priority for the botanical gardens, second only to education. Several endangered species find their homes here, and the university is an active participant in rare plant care and conservation.”

Other gardens tied for first were those at the University of California, Berkeley, the University of Chicago and the University of Minnesota. Gardens were ranked on a number of factors, including variety of species, associated university degree programs, educational outreach, having a horticulture library and unique features that “wowed” the judges.

In total, 50 university botanical gardens and arboretums made the final list.