Our Mission

The WSU Arboretum & Wildlife Conservation Center (AWCC) is a new institution of public horticulture and university education and research, formally established by President Elson S. Floyd and the Board of Regents of Washington State University in January, 2008.

The AWCC demonstrates WSU’s commitment to life and land by engaging people of all ages in a deeper understanding of science. The center provides a gateway to an inspiring landscape, stewardship of a university arboretum, and access to a wildlife conservation center showcasing research of global significance.


  • Provide a unique landscape to experience science.
  • Honor, celebrate, and interpret the ever-changing landscape of the Palouse.
  • Demonstrate the creative interaction of art, science, and culture.
  • Inspire people to create a sustainable world.

To facilitate achieving these fundamental goals, the Arboretum & Wildlife Conservation Center will develop a number of important arboretum features unique to our Palouse landscape and research expertise at Washington State University:
  • Teaching & Research Arboretum
  • Biodiversity Discovery Center
  • National Bear Center
  • Wild Herbivore Research Center
  • Raptor Flight Center
  • Story Circle

Sustainable Design Goals:

The AWCC will be built and operated on a foundation of sustainability principles. Design elements that will be created as we implement our master plan, include:
  • “Green Building Technology”
  • “Living Machine”
  • Storm-water Management
  • Ecological Demonstration Projects
  • Natural Environments for Animals
  • Intelligent Use of Site and Land

The AWCC provides research and demonstration opportunities for many academic disciplines such as botany, conservation biology, endangered species conservation (both plants and animals), horticulture, restoration ecology, wildlife ecology, and landscape architecture and design. It also promotes educational activities related to ecology, environmental education, the natural world, global change, sustainability, and the conservation of biological diversity.

The WSU Arboretum & Wildlife Conservation Center will be a living, breathing celebration of life and land on the WSU campus that embodies our joy and hope for the future. We welcome you to help us grow this future and look for future opportunities to visit our arboretum and wildlife center as it is developed.

Learn More: AWCC Brochure (2.1 mb) AWCC Master Plan (5.8 mb)