Taltree Arboretum &
Gardens has been donated to Purdue University Northwest (PNW), and PNW will
continue to operate the 300-acre property for public, educational, and
That donation was
announced today by Taltree’s Board of Directors, PNW, and the founders of
Taltree, Damien and Rita Gabis.
The transfer of
ownership is expected to be completed early in the New Year, while the
renaming of the property is pending final approval by the Purdue University
Board of Trustees in February.
The gift to PNW is
valued at approximately $12 million and is the largest donation in the
history of the PNW campuses to date.
“We are truly
grateful to the Gabis family, as well as the Board of Directors of the
Taltree Foundation, for their visionary and generous gift to advance
learning, research and engagement in Northwest Indiana,” PNW Chancellor
Thomas Keon said. “We are tremendously excited about this exceptional
opportunity to expand the mission and impact of both the arboretum and PNW.”
Keon noted that PNW
and Taltree have much in common. “Both institutions focus on enhancing the
quality of life in the region; both support and advance economic development
and sustainability; and both provide educational and research opportunities
for people throughout Northwest Indiana and beyond,” a jointly released
with Purdue Northwest is a tremendous opportunity for the sustainability of
Taltree as a public arboretum,” Damien Gabis said. “Rita and I would like to
thank those who have played a part in Taltree's growth and success, which
would not have been possible without the support of our Board of Directors,
our dedicated staff, numerous devoted volunteers and our faithful members.
We are excited about the prospect of becoming a small part of Purdue
Northwest and what the future holds.”
Taltree, home to
one of the most diverse oak collections in the nation, welcomes nearly
50,000 guests annually to its beautiful vistas, diverse landscape, and six
miles of hiking trails. Damien and Rita Gabis made an initial purchase of
land on the site in 1990. With additional land purchases through the Taltree
Arboretum & Gardens Foundation, which the Gabises began in 2002, the
property grew to its present size. The arboretum today features multiple
gardens, pavilions, a Monarch waystation, an outdoor classroom, and the
popular Railway Garden.
with Taltree will enable PNW to offer new and expanded academic courses,
enhance recruitment efforts, support community educational and outreach
programs, conduct new research projects, and engage further with area K-12
teachers and students,” the statement said.
Taltree is located
in Union Township.