Saturday, January 23, 2016

The Fay Hyland Botanical Plantation Arboretum

Dr. Fay Hyland at the Fay Hyland Botanical Plantation


Trying to find a parking place to visit The Fay Hyland Botanical Plantation Arboretum - aka Fay Hyland Botanical Garden - on the campus of the University of Maine, Orono, is difficult. Trying to learn about the man is more so.

Sign, sign, everywhere a sign! You’d think that after yesterday’s hippies gained control of universities, signs would have practically disappeared. Nope. There are more restrictions than ever.

I parked behind a fraternity house nearby. It was late morning. There was no apparent activity. I supposed the brothers were very studious and in class. I hoped my car wouldn’t be towed.

To learn something about the namesake, Fay Hyland, I had to search deeply. One would think that more information about him would be readily available in the online university web site. Not so. Perhaps Dr. Hyland seems irrelevant now.

According to findagrave.com, Fay Hyland was born March 10, 1900 in Portland, Michigan, the son of Mr. Charles Hyland and Lovinia Florence Crowell Hyland. Two of Charles and Lovinia’s children died in infancy. Lovinia was a Gold Star Mother, having also lost a child in war.

“Fay graduated from Portland High School, Portland, MI, and continued his education at Michigan State University, where he obtained his B.S. He continued his education at the University of Maine, obtaining his M.S. degree. Mr. Hyland did graduate work at Harvard University.

“During his career, he also participated in advance programs of the Brookhaven National Atomic Energy Laboratory, Syracuse University and the University of Massachusetts. He also authored many scientific publications.

“Fay initiated and developed the Botanical Plantation of the University of Maine. He taught there for 50 years, from 1926 until his retirement in 1965. He was awarded an Honorary Doctor of Science degree by the University of Maine in 1965. Dr. Hyland died in 1984.”

Stillwater River, Orono, ME
The Fay Hyland Botanical Plantation Arboretum was established in 1934. It’s located along the Stillwater River - a side channel of the Penobscot - affording beautiful views upstream and down.  Many of the trees are tagged for identification. Undeveloped paths and remnants of old drives allow visitors to walk through the collection. The 1.8 mile Stillwater River Trail on the opposite bank follows an old rail line constructed in the 1860s which transported wood products to nearby Bangor and coal to the university. A few relics remain.

Whether one is interested in silviculture, botany, the environment, the man, local history, or a nice place to stroll outdoors, The Fay Hyland Botanical Plantation Arboretum is a great place to walk among tall trees.

Follow me to see what grows there.


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