Heaps Peak Arboretum

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Heaps Peak Arboretum

Volunteers are always
welcome at
Heaps Peak
Each year more
than 100,000
forest visitors benefit
from ROWIA's
activities and
you can be a part
of the team.


The Heaps Peak Arboretum Kiosk is a center for important information not only for the Arboretum but for the entire San Bernardino Mountain area. The displays are numerous and varied. The visitor will find photography that illustrates the flowering plants of the Arboretum, as well as pictures of school groups touring the site and the activities of volunteers.

The Kiosk is the only place where you can actually view the infamous western pine beetle, the insect that caused the vast pine tree die-off situation in the mountains of Southern California. As of 2008, the wide-spread pine tree loss has subsided due to a break in the drought.

Along with the actual beetle, the display shows the “galleries” within the bark and inner wood that are carved by this incredibly voracious insect. “Pitch tubes” or the defensive sap reaction in pine trees to a beetle attack are also visible. There is an ecological explanation provided by the Forest Service about why the bark beetle has been so active during our seven year drought. We thank Gina Richmond, a former board member, and now a Forest Service Ranger for her creation of this invaluable interpretive exhibit.

The Kiosk has two posters on display that we also sell in the Information Booth on weekends. One poster shows many of the wildflowers of the San Bernardino Mountains and the other depicts most of the wildlife including birds that live in the surrounding forest. There is a photo memorial to our late founder, Mr. George Hesemann, and a “historical origin” photo exhibit with old pictures from as early as 1925 that allows visitors to see what our site looked like long before the Arboretum was ever envisioned.

The Old Fire of October 2003 burned the entire Arboretum site except for the Demonstration Gardens, thanks to the valiant efforts of firefighters who fought hand-to-hand combat along with aerial tanker “drops” to successfully save our structures. There is an informative fire ecology photo display that will explain the positive environmental effects the fire had upon our forty acre parcel and how our native trees and shrubs reacted to it. Be sure and drop by the Kiosk either before or after you hike our trail. It is truly an valuable educational experience.























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