Pollinator and Bird Garden at the Arboretum at Penn State

The Arboretum at Penn State Expands Pollinator and Bird Garden

Barton Education provided full architectural lighting and electrical design services for a newly expanded Pollinator and Bird Garden at The Arboretum at Penn State.

The new garden, which sits between the Children’s Garden and Schreyer House, increases the original H.O. Smith Botanic Gardens by approximately 60%. Intense collaboration between many Penn State scientists and the design consultants has led to the transformation of this open meadow into a remarkable environment meant to attract the region’s native pollinators and a wide range of birds. 

The site offers multiple pedestrian walkways that weave in and around various site amenities including ponds, woodlands, wetlands, and fruit orchards. The bird house located high on the site offers a quiet observation point for the avid bird watcher while also providing the perfect spot for planned evening events. 

The low-level LED bollard luminaires located along select pedestrian pathways provide both night-time visibility while offering a means of wayfinding. The selected luminaires were chosen for both their aesthetically pleasing organic design as well as their sturdy aluminum-body, an absolute necessity for withstanding annual extreme weather-conditions and daily interaction with over 150,000 visitors to the Arboretum each year. The controls for the pedestrian lighting were carefully selected to provide optimum lighting levels for safety and security while offering the flexibility of being easily tweaked for various yearly events. These desires led to the implementation of University Park campus’s first large scale wireless dimming control system for an outdoor environment.

Project Overview

total Sq Ft

3 Acres

Total Cost

$9 million


June 2021

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