History of Adkins Arboretum
In 1972, Adkins Arboretum was slated to be the Maryland state arboretum on the grounds of Tuckahoe State Park, a 4,000-acre park bordered by the Tuckahoe Creek in Caroline County. In 1980, the Arboretum opened with a donation from its first benefactor, Leon Andrus, a resident of Queen Anne's County. The Arboretum was named after the Adkins family, an Eastern Shore family who were avid conservationists and longtime friends of Andrus. Andrus also established a private foundation, the Friends of Adkins Arboretum, to oversee the Arboretum's development. Upon his death in 1989 at age 101, Leon Andrus left a bequest to the Arboretum's endowment.
The Arboretum was founded with the mission of displaying all the forest types of Maryland. By the late 1990s, with a new mission in place to display and study the Delmarva Peninsula's indigenous plant communities, the Friends of Adkins Arboretum proposed to the state that they manage the Arboretum. A public/private partnership was made official in 1998, with the state granting a 50-year lease to the Friends of Adkins Arboretum.
Today the Arboretum is self-supporting, receiving grants from federal and state agencies and from private foundations, as well as donations from members and income from program fees and gift shop and plant sales.