Nannen Arboretum cancels Celebration of the Arts, but arboretum enhancements open to public

The Nannen Arboretum’s annual Celebration of the Arts event has been canceled for this year, but Society members encourage visiting the arboretum to see the recent enhancements made.

ELLICOTTVILLE — The Celebration of the Arts event hosted by Nannen Arboretum has been canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. Next year’s event is planned for September 2021.

However, the Nannen Arboretum Society encourages visiting the arboretum to see the autumn foliage and the enhancements made this year. The arboretum remains open daily from dawn to dusk.

A newly resurfaced asphalt path provides a smooth surface for walking as well as for wheelchairs. Due to the pandemic, CA-BOCES students are unable to backfill along the path until school is in session this fall. Please be aware of the 2- to 3-inch drop-off along the path edge and please be careful.

The entrance structure has been power washed by volunteer Gail Grillo and the floor will soon be sealed.

An updated map of the arboretum, designed by Brenda Perks and printed on metal via Darlene Allen, has replaced the original one, painted by the late Bob Truckenbrod, on the back wall of the entrance structure. The new map is available on and can be printed off for your own use.

Check out the Paul Kingston Nature Trail rock and memorial plaque on the right side of the path just past the entrance structure. The late Kingston, a long-time volunteer, board member and advocate for the Nannen Arboretum and amateur photographer, will also have one of his photographs of the arboretum displayed in the entrance structure.

Several of the deteriorating wooden self-guided tour kiosks have been replaced with Polywood ones crafted by Yoder Polywood Furniture. The educational information printed by Schubert Enterprises has been re-attached to the new ones.

The remaining kiosks will be completed this month. Society members recognized Bill MacMillan for replacing the posts with treated 4x4s and Ed and Karen Chapman for mounting the new kiosks and re-attaching the educational information.

A renovation to the Al Cox Perennial Garden, maintained by the Ellicottville Ski Club, was completed by Sheri Barrera with the heavy lifting help of Joe Nosbisch and his brother. Take a detour off the asphalt path onto the Celebration Walk to see this garden.

The village of Ellicottville mowing crew, under the direction of Mark Chudy, has the arboretum grounds looking great. To facilitate mowing, volunteer Bruce Winship removed low-hanging limbs on several trees. A mulch bed was created around the John Ploetz memorial and his favorite crab apple trees. The town of Ellicottville will be investigating the drainage problems along the property line with the adjacent condos in an attempt to minimize the wet area at the far end of the arboretum grounds.

Several new and existing volunteers have show interest in maintaining the Carolyn Lowe Herb Garden. Under the direction of Gail Grillo, they are busy weeding and identifying herbs and perennials. They are developing a realistic plan of how we can move forward with the herb garden retaining the original intent in a manner that is maintainable. One of their ideas is to have a message board to engage visitors by communicating topical information such as “What’s blooming this week?”

Society members thank all volunteers for making the arboretum is looking beautiful this summer. Volunteers still work in small groups, practice social distancing and wear masks where appropriate. If interested in volunteering, email

The arboretum is funded by donations and grants. The Society is currently reviewing grant opportunities and encourages the public to consider several donation opportunities. Donation options include memorial bricks, a tree or shrub or a Polywood bench. Visit, email or mail to the Nannen Arboretum Society, Inc., PO Box 1016, Ellicottville, NY 14731.

The Society also thanks the following artists who participated in the Celebration of the Arts the last two years: Darlene Allen, Robin Zefers Clark, Denise Drummond, Karen Fitzpatrick, Debbie Hoag, Annette Ieda, Heidi Jimerson, Cathy Lacey, Judy MacMillan, Penny Minner, Rose Nuskowski, Todd Plough, Nicole Polino, Keri Roslund, Mary Kay Schreckengost and Garrett, Chris Stark, Kat Stromecki, Sandra Wicinski and Annie Widger.