Grantee Spotlight: Hayes Arboretum

Hayes Arboretum, located in Richmond, owns and manages a total of 466 acres, 350 of which are conveniently available for visitation free of charge to members and visitors. Features include unique plant collections in the Paul C. McClure Native Woody Plant Preserve, rock collections, and 5 miles of hiking and running trails. Additional attractions on the property include 3% of Indiana’s old growth forest (about 60 acres), many acres of reforested woods, an 1833 dairy barn which was re-purposed in 1965 as our Nature Center with many exhibits, the Hayes Museum, Hayes House (the estate home of Stanley W. Hayes that was built in 1921), as well as ponds, fields, and wetlands.

Due to the funding of the SKF Foundation, Hayes Arboretum was able to build a tunnel under Elks Road to provide safe and long-term access to 175 acres of their land on the east side of Hayes Arboretum Road that had previously been inaccessible to the community. The goal was to open and re-purpose the East Side of the property in an ecologically sound manner to provide its visitors from the Richmond Region and surrounding area a unique and enjoyable experience that helps to enhance and improve the quality of life in our community and the entire region.”

In addition to having 2.5 of the 5 miles of hiking and running trails, 2 miles of Mountain Bike Trails have been constructed in thus far. The East Side hiking and running trails and Mountain Bike Trails would not have been feasible without the generous funding of the Foundation.

Hayes Arboretum, which opened to the public on April 28, 1963, will celebrate 50 years of giving to the Richmond and Eastern Indiana and Western Ohio Region. Their mission is to provide nature-related education to their visitors through instruction, experiences and amenities. They are a pioneer in providing nature and outdoor education classes to children and people of all ages with the first children’s summer classes offered in 1964. They also specialize in the collection and care of trees, plants, shrubs and vines native to the Whitewater Valley Drainage Basin of Eastern Indiana and Western Ohio.

SKF Foundation Board Thoughts:

In 2001, Hayes Arboretum owned 175 acres on the east side of their property, but had not yet found the long-term funding to make it accessible to the community. The Arboretum was enthusiastic about opening up that land due to the different habitats and plant life existing within it. In 2003, the SKF Foundation and Hayes Arboretum, with the blessing of the City of Richmond, were able to collaborate to provide the funding, plans and resources to build a tunnel and open this area to the general public. Since the dedication of the tunnel in 2009, Hayes Arboretum has worked diligently to increase the use of this additional acreage to further enhance the vitality of the community.




Want to see the other community organizations that we support? See our giving page.