US Arboretum celebrates 75thWASHINGTON—Agriculture Secretary Ann M. Veneman kicked off a year-long celebration of the U.S. National Arboretum's 75th anniversary today and paid tribute to the arboretum's contributions to U.S. and world horticulture.
Veneman commemorated the event by participating in the planting of a Sun Valley red maple on the grounds of the U.S. Capitol with the ceremony's co-sponsors, including Sen. Christopher S. Bond (Mo.), arboretum director Dr. Thomas S. Elias and members of the Friends of the National Arboretum.
"This tree symbolizes the contributions of the National Arboretum to our country over the last 75 years," Veneman said. "The arboretum is truly a national treasure located right here in our nation's capital."
The arboretum covers 446 acres in northeast Washington, D.C. It was established by an act of Congress in 1927 to conduct research, provide education and conserve and display trees, shrubs, flowers and other plants to enhance the environment.
The arboretum has achieved international recognition through cooperative research programs with many countries including Austria, Japan and Russia. Recent renovations to its grounds and facilities have made it one of Washington's most popular tourist destinations. Approximately 600,000 visitors tour its gardens annually