HCC campus always in bloom
The flowers at Haywood Community College are bursting with color this summer, beckoning students and visitors to campus.
The 100-acre campus, which is surrounded by wooded areas, has been deemed an arboretum since the college opened in 1965.
In addition to a pond and millhouse, campus includes several walking trails, a bird and butterfly garden, rose gardens, a rhododendron garden, a rain garden, a disc golf course and a plethora of scenic trees, bushes and plants on every corner.
Alan Morrow, the campus arboretum team leader, said the newest addition to campus was the bird and butterfly garden that was added in 2010.
“It has a lot of blooms in it to attract birds and butterflies,” Morrow said. “We worked with the NC wildlife resource commission to find out what we needed to plant to attract them.”
Probably the most popular feature on campus is the dahlia garden, which is in full bloom in September. Morrow said a dahlia garden had been a request of A.L. Freelander, who donated all the land that became the HCC campus.
“When the land was donated before the college, one of his stipulations was that dahlias always be there and that all the timber remain,” Morrow said. “Freedlander loved dahlias and wanted the HCC campus to be a beautiful learning environment. We built the buildings around the forest. His ideas are what made (campus) an arboretum because we left so many wooded areas.”
Morrow said the abundance of plants on campus provided a convenient study area for HCC’s natural resource students.
“We’ve got a couple of learning forests that are off campus, but they can use a lot of campus,” Morrow said.
Morrow said the scenic campus attracted new visitors and students.
“They see the beauty of the grounds and the arboretum and it sways people to come here and come to school here,” Morrow said. “Visitors come and walk our walking trails because of how the campus is maintained. A lot of visiting students can’t believe this is a college because of all the landscaping and all the beauty we have.”
Morrow said the beauty of HCC’s campus couldn’t compare to others, adding that it required a lot of upkeep.
“There are five guys that maintain the grounds on this campus, and we never run out of anything to do,” Morrow said. “But it gives you a sense of pride when people come up and see the college campus.”
The campus arboretum is open on Monday through Saturday from dawn till dusk and is closed on Sunday and during Thanksgiving, Christmas and the New Year's holiday. Admission is free.