XII. Greensboro Arboretum
401 Ashland Dr., Greensboro, NC 27403
GPS: N 36° 04.196’ W 079° 50.555’
Directions: If approaching from I-40, take the Wendover exit north toward Greensboro and away from High Point. Take the Market Street exit from Wendover and go west away from downtown. From Wendover, go 0.5 mile to Ashland Drive and turn left (south). Continue on Ashland 0.4 mile to the Education Center. Note: The main entrance is listed in official publications as being just off West Market Street at the beginning of Starmount Drive, although this actually is a large parking lot next to the ball fields in adjacent Lindley Park from which one would walk into the Arboretum. There are several other entry points into the Arboretum. The better choice for wildlife watchers is to enter a half mile south near the Education Center on Ashland Drive where there is a small parking lot across the street and limited street side parking.
The Greensboro Arboretum is a long narrow 17-acre “island” located in the Lindley Park neighborhood in a densely populated suburban area only a few miles west of the Greensboro central business district. It is adjacent to and can be seen from a busy highway, Wendover Avenue, near the Market Street exit. The park was developed through a cooperative partnership between the Greensboro Parks & Recreation Department and Greensboro Beautiful, a citizen-based, non-profit organization. It is administered by the City. The Arboretum is open to the public without charge daily from sunrise to sunset.
Visitors to the Greensboro Arboretum can stroll on approximately 2 miles of paved and unpaved paths that meander through gardens that are planted with perennial and annual plants. An education center is on site that is used for occasional gardening programs; usually the building isn’t open unless an event is going on. There are about a dozen permanent plant collections in the Greensboro Arboretum.
This is a pleasant place for a Saturday morning or Sunday afternoon stroll almost any time of the year. Spring is particularly delightful to the eye because of the many blooming shrubs and trees. There are numerous benches where one may pause and watch other strollers as well as birds and other wildlife. Local birders have not spent much time here, at least in an organized way, which is too bad because it has good potential. While there are no unusual birds reported from the park, most of the common land birds of the region are likely to show up. There is good nesting habitat for the breeding species. The adjacent creek is rather narrow but should be watched for occasional Great Blue Herons and Belted Kingfishers.
The Greensboro Arboretum is a pretty good place for other forms of wildlife watching in addition to birding. As the park’s name suggests, the gardening emphasis is on shrubs and trees, but there also are seasonal flowerbeds. Some of the plantings produce flowers, fruits, and/or seeds that are particularly attractive to birds, butterflies, and other wildlife. The park has a wildflower trail. In addition, there are a few unplanted “wild” places where an observant wildlife watcher can find common wildflower species, especially along the creek on the eastern edge of the site. Near the Education Center are two foot bridges over a shallow creek from which fish can be seen in the surprisingly clear water. Dragonflies and damselflies frequent the creek edges. At dusk in the summer keep an eye on the sky for numerous bats as there is a bat roost nearby.
There are rest rooms at the side of the Education Center and a water fountain about 100 feet away on one of the paths.
Finding Birds in Guilford County © 2008 Dennis Burnette