Last week, The North Carolina Arboretum received updated guidance from UNC System Interim President Bill Roper related to the ever-evolving situation of COVID-19 or the coronavirus.
The North Carolina Arboretum is continuing to work diligently to monitor conditions and develop and executive plans to maintain the safety and well-being of our campus, while adhering to the expertise and recommendations set forth by the UNC System. As a result, the Arboretum will be making the following changes to our programs effective immediately:
Events and Public Programming
Per the mandate of the UNC System office, all Arboretum-hosted public events containing more than 100 people will be suspended. As a result, the Asheville Orchid Festival, including the Members-only Preview, are canceled and the Mountain Science Expo is postponed until further notice. The Arboretum will update members and guests of any further event cancellations as information becomes available.
- Adult Education students registered for classes through April will now have the opportunity to cancel their registration and receive a 100% refund for their selected classes. Requests can be made by filling out the following form on our website. Funds will be reimbursed back to students’ accounts or a check will be mailed within 7 – 10 business days. If a student misses a class due to an unexpected illness and cannot give prior notice, students will have 48 hours after the missed class to request a refund by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org or calling 828-665-2492.
- Wee Naturalist participants will also have the opportunity to cancel their registration through March and receive a 100% refund for their selected program. Requests can be made by filling out the following form on our website. Funds will be reimbursed back to participants’ accounts within 5 – 7 business days. If a family misses a Wee Naturalist program due to an unexpected illness and cannot give prior notice, they will have 48 hours after the missed program to request a refund by emailing Michelle Pearce at email@example.com or calling 828-665-2492.
To date, no case of COVID-19 have been reported at the Arboretum or the surrounding area. The Arboretum property will continue to remain open under its normal schedule; however, if visitors are sick or belong to a group identified by the Centers for Disease Control as High Risk, they are encouraged to postpone their visit.
Please be aware that the Arboretum is taking many steps to keep our guests and staff healthy and prevent the spread of COVID-19, including:
- Frequent cleanings of all Arboretum buildings and facilities.
- Additional hand sanitizers and tissues provided for staff and visitor use.
- Frequent handwashing by staff.
We are fortunate to have 434 acres of open, natural woodlands as part of our campus. Physical activity, such as walking, hiking or biking, can help minimize stress and anxiety, as well as boost immunity. As the weather warms up and the Arboretum’s beautiful landscape begins to awaken, we encourage you to get outside and enjoy our outdoor trails and gardens.
The Arboretum continues to be in contact with the UNC System and local and state public health officials as this situation evolves. We encourage guests to check the Arboretum’s COVID-19 webpage for further updates on policies and cancellations, and refer to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) and the North Carolina Department of Health and Human Services (NCDHHS) websites for the most recent and accurate information on COVID-19.