Bob Byers, garden director
550 Arkridge Road, PO Box 22240
Hot Springs National Park, AR 71913
Garvan Woodland Gardens is the botanical garden of the University of Arkansas, established in 1993 by an endowment from Mrs. Verna C. Garvan. Her vision is the foundation of the Garden’s mission to serve the public and provide teaching and research opportunities for the Department of Landscape Architecture and the Fay Jones School of Architecture and Design.
As early as 1985, the Department of Landscape Architecture was utilizing portions of the 210 acres on Lake Hamilton, in Hot Springs, AR, as a resource to teach local ecology and design principles. Teaching opportunities continue in these areas and currently feature urban forestry, wetland ecology, construction methods and materials, design implementation, and horticulture. Numerous designed features offer case studies for landscape architecture and architecture students as well as professionals, including the Asiatic Garden by David Slawson, a nationally recognized Japanese garden designer, and the Verna C. Garvan Pavilion, by internationally recognized architects Fay Jones and Maurice Jennings.
Research opportunities lie in wetland ecology and constructed wetland design, sustainable design, and therapeutic gardens. Ongoing public programs feature workshops on gardening techniques, bonsai collections, and perennials.
An annual symposium focuses on timely issues affecting the quality of life of people in Arkansas and the nation. Past topics include historic landscape preservation practice in Arkansas and sustainable golf course design.
Garvan Woodland Gardens is a member of the American Association of Botanical Gardens and Arboreta.