Laurelwood Arboretum is a 30-acre botanically diverse property located in Wayne Township in northern New Jersey. Laurelwood features woodland trails and gardens, wildlife, two ponds, streams and hundreds of varieties of rhododendrons, azaleas and other unusual species of plants and trees. Gravel paths wind and connect through the arboretum, making it an ideal destination for nature lovers, hikers, runners, birdwatchers, artists and photographers.
Memberships, donations, volunteer involvement and public funds all help ensure that this unique property will remain an oasis for generations of visitors who come to be inspired and renewed.
A Brief History
Laurelwood Arboretum was made possible by a generous donation to the Township of Wayne by Dorothy and John Knippenberg. The Knippenbergs purchased the 30-acre property across from their home in Pines Lake, Wayne in the 1940s and 1950s. Known as Laurelwood Gardens, it was an active commercial nursery that specialized in rhododendrons and azaleas.
The property became part of the townships park system after Johns death. Dorothy continued to supervise Laurelwood and work in the gardens. At this time, a small grassroots community group formed to support her in maintaining the property and ensuring its future as a public park. In 2003, this group was formalized as Friends of Laurelwood Arboretum, Inc, a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation.
In 2007, following Dorothys death, Friends of Laurelwood Arboretum and Wayne Township entered into an agreement in which the responsibilities of each were defined.
Friends of Laurelwood Arboretum assumed responsibility for maintaining and improving the arboretums horticultural inheritance. This includes managing designated public funds and Laurelwoods seasonal employees.
Laurelwood Arboretum is a now a public park maintained, operated, and programmed by Friends of Laurelwood Arboretum, in partnership with Wayne Township. This continues to be a successful arrangement by which the arboretum has thrived and the community has become increasingly involved as visitors, supporters and volunteers.This includes managing designated public funds and Laurelwoods seasonal employees.
Location & Contact Details
- Nature / Environmental Center
- Picnic / Sitting Area
- Flat / Easy
- Walking Paths
Parks & Gardens:
- Gardens / Arboretum
- Park (General)
- Scenic Overlook / Waterfalls