CHASKA, MINNESOTA — The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum and the University of Minnesota are pleased to announce Andrew Gapinski as the new director of the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum (fondly referred to as the “Arb”) effective May 1, 2023.
Gapinski succeeds Peter Moe, who announced his retirement last year after serving in a variety of Arboretum roles for 50 years, most recently as the organization’s director since 2016. Established in 1958 and today a part of the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences (CFANS) at the University of Minnesota, the 1,200-acre Minnesota Landscape Arboretum is a signature public garden destination for more than 500,000 visitors annually, with more than 30,000 member households.
Gapinski comes to the Arboretum from the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University in Boston — North America’s oldest public arboretum — where he spent 10 years and most recently served as the director of horticulture. In this role, he cared for the plant collections and landscapes, leading a team of full-time employees, seasonal teams, research fellows and horticultural interns. Andrew was responsible for all aspects of horticulture, arboriculture and natural areas management; ground operations and infrastructure; and grounds security and vehicle management.
Beyond care of the Arnold’s collections and grounds, Andrew has been a leader in programs and initiatives across the institution, including leadership of domestic and international plant-collecting expeditions. Gapinski worked closely with the Arnold Arboretum director and leadership team on strategic planning and fund-raising initiatives and served as project lead for grounds capital projects across the facility’s 281 acres.
“Andrew’s distinct combination of leadership experience, numerous and diverse accomplishments and clear passion for our beloved Arb made him the ideal choice for this critical role,” said Brian Buhr, CFANS dean. “His strong background, community focus and visionary mindset position him perfectly to build on the Arb’s rich legacy and lead it into an ever more vibrant future.”
As the new director of the Arboretum, Gapinski will develop a long-term vision and strategic plan for the next decade and beyond, building on the strong foundation Moe developed and nurtured to make the Arboretum a garden for all Minnesotans for generations to come.
“The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum is an exceptional demonstration of the collaborative impact that university-based public gardens can have on bringing together diverse ideas and perspectives from across the communities they serve. I am thrilled with the opportunity to return to the Midwest, to work alongside a tremendously talented and dedicated team to envision and build the future of the Arboretum,” said Gapinski.
Prior to his work with the Arnold Arboretum, Gapinski held a variety of horticultural and administrative leadership roles at the Arboretum at Penn State in University Park, Pennsylvania, and the Morton Arboretum in Lisle, Illinois. He earned his MS in Public Horticulture from the University of Delaware in Newark, Delaware, as part of the Longwood Gardens Graduate Program, and his BS in Horticulture from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.