Book Examines the First Ecologically Designed Arboretum in the U.S.
LSU Press to publish “The Crosby Arboretum” in April
BATON ROUGE – The Crosby Arboretum in southern Mississippi emerged in 1980 as one of the first American landscape projects to successfully balance natural habitat and planned design. Former site director and curator Robert F. Brzuszek’s book, “The Crosby Arboretum: A Sustainable Regional Landscape,” to be published by LSU Press in April, provides a detailed survey of the arboretum’s origins, planning, construction, and ongoing management.
Since its genesis, Crosby Arboretum has attracted international recognition for its contributions to architecture, biology and landscape design. Now owned and operated by Mississippi State University, Crosby is the first fully realized ecologically designed arboretum in the United States and the premier native plant conservatory in the Southeast. Brzuszek’s book offers a generous selection of photographs and drawings illustrating the beauty and purpose of the site’s components: the award-winning Pinecote Pavilion, designed by architect Fay Jones; a 104-acre focus area that includes the Piney Woods Lake, which displays native water plants in their natural setting; and 700 additional acres of savanna, woodland, and aquatic environments that nurture more than 300 species of indigenous trees, shrubs, and wildflowers.
Utilizing the interactions between two opposing natural forces – fire and water – Crosby Arboretum protects the biological diversity indigenous to the Pearl River Drainage Basin, in southern Mississippi and southeastern Louisiana. Brzuszek’s inspiring and informative account will help further Crosby’s role as a model of sustainable landscape design and management across the country.
Brzuszek is an associate professor of landscape architecture at Mississippi State University, where he teaches courses in landscape design, ecology, and management. He served as site director and curator of the Crosby Arboretum from 1990 to 2003.