Office of Public Affairs

USM Arboretum Day and Plant Sale in Gorham

 The dedication of the Joe B. Parks Rhododendron Garden, gardening workshops, children’s activities and refreshments are all part of the inaugural USM Arboretum Day and Plant Sale. 

The free, public event will be held, rain or shine, from 9 a.m. to 12 noon, Saturday, June 4, adjacent to the USM Academy Building on USM’s Gorham campus. The Academy Building overlooks School Street (Route 114). Parking is available at 68 School Street. The garden dedication will be at 9:30 a.m., followed by workshops every 15 minutes. The plant sale will include vendors from O’Donal’s Nursery, Meservey Farms and local garden clubs.

For more information, contact Betsy Uhuad of USM at 780-4714, or Tyler Kidder at tkidder@usm.maine.edu.

The Joe B. Parks Rhododendron Garden, located in front of the historic Academy Building, is “green” in more ways than one.  All the plants are hybridized rhododendrons and azaleas that the late Dover, New Hampshire horticulturalist Joe Parks developed to withstand the New England climate and resist insects.  Parks once said he struggled for more than 40 years with “a disease known as gardening.”  In 2007, he donated plants from his backyard gardens and took the lead in development of Dover’s Joe B. Parks River Walk and Gardens.     

Parks, who died in 2010,  also decided to move plants from his home in Dover to USM for the use and enjoyment of the entire community.  Benches and original artwork from the Parks’ home have been woven into this large garden space that serves as an outdoor classroom and a place for reflection.