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Lasdon Arboretum

Lasdon Park and Arboretum is a magnificent 234-acre property consisting of woodlands, open grass meadows and formal gardens that offer a picturesque area to view various tree, shrub and flower specimens from all over the world. Lasdon is the site of the Chinese Friendship Pavilion that was a gift from the People's Republic of China to the citizens of Westchester. The park is also home to four inspirational memorials and a museum honoring Westchester veterans.

Situated off Route 35, Lasdon is bounded on the south and east by New York City watershed property, the Amawalk River and the county's own Muscoot Farm, and on the west by the 20-acre Mildred D. Lasdon Bird and Nature Sanctuary.

Originally called Cobbling Rock Farm, the Lasdon estate was purchased by William and Mildred Lasdon in 1939. Know for establishing a major pharmaceutical company and for their philanthropic endeavors, the Lasdon family used the estate as a country retreat and had a full-time staff to maintain its buildings and grounds. William Lasdon had a keen interest in horticulture and, through his world traveling, imported many tree specimens to his estate.

In 1986, Westchester County purchased the property from the Lasdons for $4.2 million as part of the county's continuous effort to obtain and preserve open space. During that summer, the motion picture "The Secret of My Success" was filmed within the formal gardens, pool and main house. Much of the formal grounds remain as they were originally designed, and Westchester County has been developing and embellishing the collections on the property.

Today, Lasdon Park is the horticultural hub of Westchester County. The Colonial Revival-style pavilion main house provides office for groups such as the Ninth District Federated Garden Clubs and the Westchester Tree Protective Association, and is home to the Lasdon Horticultural Library. The house also consists of meeting rooms for horticultural workshops and botanical art classes, a gallery for art exhibits, and serves as the headquarters for te Friends of Lasdon Park and Arboretum volunteer organization. The pool house has been converted into the Shop at Lasdon, an information center and plant shop that offers plants and gardening-related items for sale, and is staffed by members of the Friends of Lasdon.

The arboretum consists of woodlands, open grass meadows and formal gardens that feature a variety of tree, shrub and flower specimens from all over the world. Among the most beautiful planting in the arboretum are the large azalea garden, the yellow magnolia grove, and extensive lilac and pine collections, and a flowering tree grove. Surrounding the arboretum is a pond and 200 acres of woodlands that contain many specimen trees and plantings that provide habitat for deer, coyote, fox, wild turkey and other native mammals.

  • The Azalea Garden and Formal Gardens - Among the most beautiful plantings in the arboretum is the large azalea garden with hundreds of red, white, pink, magenta, yellow and lavender azaleas that create a hillside of color in the spring. Nestled among the azaleas is a series of small ponds and waterfalls creating a natural setting, with a trail leading to a small gazebo. Next to the azalea garden is a dwarf conifer collection containing a variety of pines, spruces, firs and cypress. The arboretum is also home to a variety of magnolia species, including several rare yellow specimens which were the first of their kind to be developed in the world at the Brooklyn Botanic Garden in the 1950's.
  • The Famous and Historic Tree Trail - The Famous and Historic Tree Trail features species that commemorate historic events and famous Americans from our country's past. At each station, one can read about a famous person or event to which the original parent tree was witness. The trees were grown from seeds of the original trees provided by the American Forestry Association.
  • The William & Mildred Lasdon Memorial Garden - The William and Mildred Lasdon Memorial Garden site is a one-acre garden created in memory of the Lasdons and made possible through a donation by their daughter, Mrs. Nanette Laitman. The Lasdon Memorial Garden is composed of three distinct areas: an entrance court with a fragrance garden, a formal garden and a synoptic garden.
  • The Chinese Friendship Pavilion and Cultural Garden - This four-acre garden and pavilion symbolize the close bonds between Westchester County and its Sister City, Jingzhou, in the People's Republic of China. The Friendship Pavilion, a gift from that city, is the focal point of the garden. The classic Chinese structure was constructed in China, disassembled, and shipped to the United States, where it was installed by several craftsmen from China with the assistance of park staff. The pavilion surrounded by a developing culture garden with such native Chinese plantings as bamboo and Kousa dogwood, overlooking a picturesque pond with a stone dust pathway for meditation.
  • The Westchester Veterans Memorial and Museum - Lasdon is home to four memorials and a museum that honor all Westchester County servicemen and women who have served their country in various branches of military service. They were funded through the efforts of the Vietnam Memorial Committee and the Vietnam Veterans of America, Westchester Chapter 49.
  • The Mildred D. Lasdon Bird and Nature Sanctuary - This 22-acre preserve was donated to the county in 1976 by William Lasdon and named for his wife. A self-guided trail affords views of many species of birds, and as many as 20 distinct types of warblers can be observed there during migration.

Visiting Lasdon Park & Arboretum

Hours:
8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Daily

Admission:
FREE

Specifics on visiting the Lasdon Arboretum were correct at time of publication. We would suggest that you confirm dates and times prior to your visit.
 
 
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