The University Record, September 3, 1997
Rhododendron aficionados Norris and Helen Post have presented Nichols Arboretum with a gift of $30,000 for the restoration and enhancement of the Appalachian Collection.
"We are delighted with the leadership Mr. And Mrs. Post have shown in support of the goals of the Arboretum," says Professor Harrison L. Morton, director of Nichols Arboretum and associate dean, School of Natural Resources and Environment.
"This benchmark gift creates a model for revitalizing the Arboretum's Collections. With this gift and matching funds we hope to establish a collection that will be appreciated not only for its beauty but also for its teaching value," Morton continues.
The three-year project will entail removal of invasive species such as buckthorn and honeysuckle, and replanting with carefully selected species from the Appalachian Mountains. Specific ecosystems found in Appalachia will be represented by grouped plants, with inviting trails and benches bringing the visitor closer to the collection.
Norris Post, one of the founding board members of Friends of Nichols Arboretum, has had an interest in rhododendrons for many years, maintaining a beautiful collection in his Ann Arbor garden. After the Posts moved from Ann Arbor to North Carolina, Mr. Post explored the native rhododendrons found in Appalachia, appreciating the origins of the modern hybrids that are popular today. This relationship between species and hybrids will be demonstrated in a walking trail leading to the Appalachian Collection.
"Norris has always loved the challenge of a rhododendron garden with its beautiful spring companion plants," says Helen Post. "Now, working with Arboretum staff, SNRE faculty Bob Grese, his landscape architecture student Joe Howard, and landscape gardener Christopher Graham, we have developed a very exciting plan. Joining us are our children Garry, Nancy, and Jeffrey, who look to the collection as a way to honor the wonderful memory of their sister, Julie Norris Post, for whom the collection will be named."