Sister Mary Grace Burns Arboretum of Georgian Court University

900 Lakewood Avenue, Lakewood, NJ 08701

Updated: 2015-03-15 23:04:19 Short URL:
Enjoy the four historic themed gardens of the former George Jay Gould estate, now a National Historic Landmark and the campus of Georgian Court University. Located on the edge of the New Jersey Pine Barrens, the gardens feature a mixture of native pinelands vegetation and exotic woody plants, many dating to the early part of the 20th century. The Italian, Formal, and Sunken gardens, designed by Bruce Price, include stately conifers, statues, sculptures, urns, marble staircases, and old fountains. The Japanese Garden, designed by Takeo Shiota, is a tea garden featuring an authentic teahouse, stone lanterns, four bridges, and a variety of Japanese maples.

Complementing the historic gardens are a 70-species Wellness Garden, a holly collection, a magnolia collection, a Clethra collection, and several smaller gardens. The university's commitment to sustainability is evident in a demonstration rain garden, the green roof on the Wellness Center, a small native graminoid garden, several low-mow areas, a demonstration community garden (Mercy Garden), and a deer-resistant garden.

Description and Photo borrowed from

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A Brief History

The arboretum, established in 1989, is named after Sister Mary Grace Burns, a professor of biology from 1927 to 1968. It comprises the cultivated parts of the campus (approx. 100 acres). In addition to a large number of exotic plant species, the arboretum features a good collection of native plants of the New Jersey Pine Barrens (New Jersey Pinelands). Most of the pinelands plants are scattered throughout the arboretum. Most notably, we have a number of very large and old oaks (mostly chestnut, black and white) and pines (mostly shortleaf but also pitch). These species are well adapted to our climate and soils, and are found on most parts of the campus. The densest concentration of oaks is on oak knoll, the highest elevation on campus just past the university's entrance gate. The largest white oak in Ocean County is located behind our Sister Mary Joseph Cunningham Library -- we have a total of 16 trees that are the biggest of their species in Ocean County.


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