Nestled among the Ponderosa pines and surrounding Garden Springs Creek lies a hidden oasis – the John A. Finch Arboretum. The City of Spokane's Parks and Recreation and Urban Forestry Departments and other critical stakeholders set out to develop a master plan for the Arboretum to strengthen it as a community asset. The Arboretum's master plan is a guide to continue its development into an iconic regional experience and ensure its preservation as a botanical wonderland for generations.
Laying the groundwork and historical context for the Arboretum, the master plan first examines the site's history, both geological and human. A site analysis by the landscape architects inventories and documents the existing site amenities, site circulation, plant collections, landscape typologies and overall tree health.
Essential to developing this document was the guidance of the community's diverse stakeholder groups. The extensive planning process is documented within the master plan report. Over the course of a year, community members, stakeholder groups and city staff participated in visioning meetings and multiple open houses. From this community engagement developed a five-point vision to guide the master plan: Education, Conservation, Experience, Aesthetics, and Community. Using these five guidelines as a lens, the Arboretum's grounds were studied and 13 key areas were identified for improvement or preservation.
Based on the five guidelines and focus areas, a comprehensive master plan developed that suggests recommendations and next steps regarding the Arboretum's botanical collections, buildings, signage and site features. With this document's guidance, Spokane's much loved treasure, the Finch Arboretum, will be an example of botanical education and conservation to be experienced and enjoyed by the community for years to come.