Since its genesis in 1980, Crosby Arboretum in southern Mississippi 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.
Former site director and curator Robert F. Brzuszek provides a detailed survey of the arboretum’s origins, planning, construction, and ongoing management. More than just a botanical center, Crosby emerged as one of the first American landscape projects to successfully balance natural habitat and planned design. The book’s generous selection of photographs and drawings illustrate 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 seven hundred additional acres of savanna, woodland, and aquatic environments that nurture more than 300 species of indigenous trees, shrubs, wildflowers, and grasses.
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.
ROBERT F. 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 the first curator of Crosby Arboretum from 1990 to 2003.
NEIL G. ODENWALD, FASLA, is professor emeritus of landscape architecture at Louisiana State University and the coauthor of Live Oak Splendor: Gardens Along the Mississippi from Natchez to New Orleans, Attracting Birds to Southern Gardens, and Plants for American Landscapes.