The arboretum received received the grant from the Hyundai Motor Manufacturing of Alabama.
The Arboretum is Troy University’s nature preserve where students can learn about and explore the outdoors.
“We have 75 acres here adjacent to campus,” said Arboretum Director Alvin Diamond. “We have over 12 miles of hiking trails out here. There’s a pond, there’s stream and there’s over 500 plants.”
The Arboretum also features a new floating pier and dock that can help students collect data and samples.
“They’re going to be mostly used with our classes,” Diamond said. “Students will be able to go out on these docks and piers. They don’t have to wade out into the pond and get mud and all of that stuff on them.”
Diamond was first hired as the Director of the Arboretum in the 1980s. Years later the Arboretum was turned over to the physical plant and Diamond became a full-time biology professor. Over the years the Arboretum fell into slight disrepair, but now, Diamond as its director, the Arboretum has been restored to its former glory.
“Being put back out here has given us the opportunity to start doing a lot of different things,” Diamond said. “We’ve opened up the trails, we’ve applied for a lot of grants.”
Diamond says he spends all of his free time at the Arboretum and works to make it a better place for Troy University and the community.
“This is a resource for the University and the community,” Diamond told TrojanVision. “If you’re a biology major you’ll be having classes out here. We have art students come out here and do painting, photography and things.”
The Arboretum is open seven days a week from sunrise to sunset. Admission is free.