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Iowa Arboretum & Gardens
Master Plan

Master Plan

The Iowa Arboretum & Gardens Master Plan is a document developed in 2018 by stakeholders of the Arboretum and used as a “road map” for future development and enhancement of the gardens, grounds, and facilities. The master plan is the vision for the future and tells the story of what the arboretum will look like in the future. The master plan process included evaluating current programs, activities, and facilities to determine future needs in these areas.

Integrating East and West Sides of Peach Avenue

 New signage is envisioned to integrate the newly acquired 120 acres on the east side of Peach Avenue with the original 40 acres.


Woodland Trails

Acquisition of the woodland area on the east side of Peach Avenue allows the Arboretum to improve the trails, providing an additional outdoor experience for visitors.  The first phase of this project was begun in 2022 with laying out new trails.


Elevated Walkways

Trail construction will begin in 2023 along with the groundbreaking for the Family Engagement project. Elevated walkways will allow visitors of all ages the unique experience of being in a tree canopy.

Great Lawn

In the proposed plan, the great lawn area is approximately 6.3 acres of greenspace that will provide a flexible recreation space for arboretum patrons. The great lawn extends across Peach Ave., acting as a bridge between the existing and expanded site.

Tree Succession Plan

The proposed master plan will be a phased development with different components of the plan being completed over time. The final plan calls for a succession plan for the trees in the great lawn space. The phase development process allows for the final plan to evolve over time as trees die or as space becomes available to relocate collections.

Improved Signage

Additions of interpretive signage will give visitors more information about the plantings.

Visitor Center

The new visitor center will be located at the south end of the existing parking lot. Oriented for views from Peach Ave. as well, this building will terminate the great lawn on the west side of the collections.

Event Center

The event building is an architectural gem, constructed to house weddings, special events, and to provide meeting space for corporate events or large gatherings.