The Coastal Carolina University Arboretum began with a group of students who had an idea: make CCU an even greener campus through sustainability installations that offer experiential learning opportunities for students and advocacy and outreach for the local community. During the fall 2019 semester, students taking Dr. Dominique Cagalanan’s Anthropology and Geography course Human Landscapes, along with members of the student club SPROUT, proposed to establish an arboretum and botanical garden on campus. They prepared a collective report linking their proposal to the Sustainable Development Goals and made a formal pitch to the University Administration, engendering enthusiasm and excitement about the effort and the immediate approval to begin establishing a native species arboretum in the 1.5-acre area beside Wheelwright Auditorium that now serves as the formal entrance to the arboretum. The CCU Arboretum is dedicated to them.
Since then, the CCU Arboretum has expanded to include the entire 322-acre main campus, and it has been awarded ArbNet Level I Accreditation. We are currently conducting an inventory of all the trees in the Arboretum and mapping them in an interactive platform called TreePlotter.