An arboretum is a botanical collection of trees. Knowing how much I love plants and nature my daughter gave me a tour of her UCF campus arboretum during a recent visit to her school. Parking on campus can be tricky but there is a pay lot next to the arboretum outside of Flagler Hall in the Libra community.The arboretum was established by then UCF President Trevor Colbourn in 1983. Originally it consisted of 12 acres of a disturbed pond pine community on the east side of campus. President Altman expanded it further in 1988 to include 5 acres of cypress dome, 3 acres of oak hammock, and 15 acres of sand pine and Florida scrub. Today the arboretum covers 80 acres and contains more than 600 species of plants. In 2009 a community organic garden was added.The UCF arboretum contains three miles of hiking and biking trails. In February of 2020, volunteers got together to create UCFs first mountain biking trail through the arboretum. Free tours are offered to the public and UCF students use this a living laboratory. The arboretum is open everyday from sunrise to sunset.