The College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Science’s (CAFES) student-run Leaning Pine Arboretum received a $1 million donation from Kathleen Enz Finken, Cal Poly’s provost from 2012 to 2019, and her husband Gerald Finken.
The donation was made in honor of CAFES Dean Andrew J. Thulin, who has served as dean of the department since 2013.
“Dean Thulin has led the complete transformation of Cal Poly’s College of Agriculture, Food and Environmental Sciences by working tirelessly to raise funds in support of students and faculty, and to bring college facilities into the 21st century,” Kathleen Enz Finken said in a university news release.
The Finkens have previously donated to the Swanton Pacific Ranch, an education and research facility in Santa Cruz County that is managed by the CAFES.
“Just as their past support of Swanton Pacific Ranch allowed the college to enhance educational opportunities there, this donation will expand our offerings at the one-of-a-kind Leaning Pine Arboretum to incorporate the larger community,” Thulin said in the news release.
Leaning Pine Arboretum covers 5 acres on campus and includes multiple themed gardens highlighting plants from Mediterranean regions around the globe. The arboretum is used for educational opportunities and recreation.
The donation will be used to improve the facility’s accessibility and infrastructure and expand opportunities for research and programming.
“The Leaning Pine Arboretum will serve as an essential tool in addressing the increasing impacts from drought, climate change and wildfire which is demanding research, education and outreach on Mediterranean landscapes,” Thulin said in the news release.
The arboretum is open Monday through Saturday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. and is free for all.