The concept of our campus-wide Arboretum dates back to the founding of Delaware Valley University as the National Farm School in 1896. The school's founder, Joseph Krauskopf, included an arboretum in the original plans for the school. However, it was not until 1966 that the Arboretum, under the stewardship of Horticulturist David Benner, was recognized and named The Henry Schmieder Arboretum of Delaware Valley University.
Henry Schmieder was a faculty member of the college from 1921 to 1964. He was a gifted teacher and a Renaissance man who taught an amazing variety of subjects in liberal arts, science and agriculture. His brilliance as a teacher and his depth of knowledge embodies the spirit that is Delaware Valley University. He was described by Joshua Feldstein, President Emeritus of the University and a student and colleague of Henry Schmieder as "a man with an intensely inquiring mind; a man who never ceased to be a student of the life he found everywhere about him."
At the time of his death, Henry Schmieder was cataloging the Arboretum collection and had plans for its expansion to make the campus a living resource for students, the community and the horticulture industry.
Our gardens are now entering a new chapter in history. After almost 2 years of research, visioning and discussion, The Henry Schmieder Arboretum is in the process of being reborn into an exciting, educationally focused series of interactive learning gardens and an educationally grounded plant collection dedicated to teaching, research and learning. The end result will be a public garden like no other.