Purdue University Northwest, through a generous gift from the Taltree Arboretum & Gardens Foundation’s Board of Directors and Damien and Rita Gabis, is now operating the 300-plus-acre arboretum near Valparaiso long known as Taltree Arboretum & Gardens.
The Purdue University Board of Trustees on Friday (Feb. 9) approved the renaming of the property to Gabis Arboretum at Purdue Northwest. All legal and real estate transactions required to finalize the transfer of ownership of the property were completed Jan. 31.
Purdue Northwest (PNW) will continue to operate the property as an arboretum for public, educational, conservation and recreational use. No immediate changes in programs or facilities are planned. Visitors and members will continue to enjoy the arboretum as they have for many years.
The gift to the university, announced in December 2017, is valued at approximately $12 million. It is the largest donation in the history of the PNW campuses to date.
“We are pleased to honor the Gabis family, founders of the arboretum, and welcome this opportunity to expand the mission and impact of both the arboretum and the university in Northwest Indiana,” said Purdue Northwest Chancellor Thomas L. Keon. “PNW is committed to honoring the conservation, environmental, and public education mission of the arboretum.”
Keon noted that the addition of the Gabis Arboretum to Purdue Northwest will enhance the educational, research, and academic programming offered to PNW students and the broader community. The arboretum offers new ways for faculty and students to explore research and educational opportunities close to the PNW campuses in Hammond and Westville, Ind. Examples might include:
- Biology faculty conducting research on distinct habitats.
- Engineering and technology design teams working with arboretum staff to enhance visitor experiences.
- Hospitality and Tourism Management students assisting with event management and service delivery for the many events and community functions hosted at the site.
- English, humanities and other faculty and students collaborating to produce and perform theatrical productions on the arboretum grounds.
Gabis Arboretum at Purdue Northwest
Gabis Arboretum at Purdue Northwest, formerly known as Taltree Arboretum & Gardens, is a 300+-acre, dog-friendly oak preserve of formal gardens, woodlands, wetlands and prairies with more than 6 miles of hiking trails. The arboretum is open year round and offers a wide variety of events and classes for all ages. Proceeds received by the nonprofit organization power its conservation, restoration and education initiatives.