The Eastwoodhill Masterplan builds upon Douglas Cook’s vision for Eastwoodhill as an arboreal ark by developing the collection according to the demands of global biodiversity conservation and introducing interpretive features that allow visitors to understand the importance of Eastwoodhill as a repository for the world’s temperate forest tree species.
This incredibly insightful and well-executed plan delivers a way forward for Eastwoodhill over the next 100 years as the world faces more environmental uncertainty and increasing pressure on endangered plants and trees.
The masterplan builds the potential of Eastwoodhill’s remarkable collection and provides an organisational strategy that strengthens its reputation as an internationally relevant catalogue of northern hemisphere trees. New Zealand’s isolation and climate make the arboretum a unique and critical research station for a global network of scientists studying tree disease, deforestation, diversity, and species extinction.
The Eastwoodhill Masterplan was launched in 2012. It was devised by the Board, curator and USA based firm Nelson Byrd Woltz Landscape Architects (NBW) to guide the National Arboretum’s development over the next hundred years as it faces more environmental uncertainty and increasing pressure on rare and endangered plants and trees. The plan develops the arboretum towards its mission as an arboreal ark, a global repository with the benefit of relative isolation, for securing and caring for species.
NBW Principal Architect Thomas Woltz and Project Manager Breck Gastinger presented the plan to a group of about 80 people and discussed different priorities within the plan, including new developments and projects ensuring mature plantings are repropagated, new features are introduced, and future educational resources are considered.
NBW worked for two years assessing the Eastwoodhill site, soils, and northern hemisphere collection needs. Their research was deeply thorough, their recommendations far-reaching but environmentally sound and their ideas globally encompassing yet achievable.
The Masterplan & the Arboreal Ark™
We call this place and process, our Arboreal Ark. The Ark shall protect and ensure species security for the 67 countries the collection currently represents. We shall endeavour to position the Arboretum to be able to react when requested in the inevitable increase of rare and threatened trees not currently found within the collection and from those geographic locations not currently represented within our Arboretum.