Arboretum

At the center of the University of South Carolina Upstate campus, the 12-Acre Susan Jacobs Arboretum bridges the established quadrangles of the south and massive expansion of the new north quadrangle, creating the completed outline of the University’s 328-acre master plan.

The Susan Jacobs Arboretum is a place of serene natural beauty. It features a 300-seat amphitheatre, lighted walkways, foliage indigenous to the area, and rows of Nuttall Oak trees defining the north quadrangle. A meandering creek lined with stones and boulders completes this tranquil setting. 

In 2016, two new gardens were named at the arboretum. Donations by Andrea and Greg Shurburtt and P. Kathryn “Katie” Hicks and her husband Dr. Larry Roël to the Susan Jacobs Arboretum have provided for two newly named gardens that will further enhance the beautiful landscape of this natural setting. In 2014, the University completed the Hicks and Roël Arboretum Entrance thanks to a commitment from P. Kathryn "Katie" Hicks and her husband, Dr. Lawrence E. “Larry” Roël made with love for the University.

A cell phone tour known as "Guide By Cell" is available for those who are interested in the details of each particular garden. Learn more about the "Guide By Cell" tour.

The Susan Jacobs Arboretum serves as the center for activity for future campus life and student programs. It provides a place for relaxation, enjoyment and reflection, and for cultural, social and entertainment events. The Arboretum establishes a marker for future growth and development of the campus and, as it evolves over time, will provide a tremendous source of pride for students, faculty, staff and alumni.

  • The Landscape Services Department, a 14-member division of Facilities Management, provides the following services on the Spartanburg campus of USC Upstate: Landscape planning, design, construction and maintenance; design, planting and care of gardens and gardens; management and enhancement of the Susan Jacobs Arboretum and the Rotary International Peace Park; planting of trees, shrubs, perennials and annuals; maintenance of parking areas, sidewalks, streets, pathways; installation and maintenance of irrigation lines and landscape lighting; yard waste and recycling services; campus litter cleanup; and snow removal.

    The University of South Carolina Upstate landscape profile includes:

    • 330 total acres
    • 200 total acres of greenspace
    • 130 species of trees in the Susan Jacobs Arboretum
    • 140 species of shrubs, with 60 percent of those planted in the Arboretum
    • 25,000+ square feet of planting beds
    • 4 miles of streets where we are responsible for landscape maintenance
    • 1.2 miles of paved sidewalks
    • 3,089 parking spots
    • 6 soccer fields including County University Soccer Stadium
    • Cleveland S. Harley Baseball Park
    • Cyrill Softball Stadium
    • 12-acre Susan Jacobs Arboretum, a 300-seat amphitheater, a meandering creek and 12 separate garden areas/plant collections
    • 6-acre USC Upstate Rotary International Peace Park, with pond, fountain, amphitheater, two walking bridges, a waterfall, 400 trees, benches, various gardens, walking paths, conifer collection and ornamental grasses.
  • Visitors to the Susan Jacobs Arboretum will notice something new as they make their way through the gardens. There are now placards at eight different planting areas that are designated as stops on the cell phone tour known as "Guide By Cell".

    The placards have a phone number to call and a pin number, followed by the pound (#) sign. Once connected the listener will receive details about the particular garden at which they are standing.

    The "voice of the garden" is Linda Cobb, a longtime supporter of the Susan Jacobs Arboretum and avid gardener known around Spartanburg for her support of multiple garden clubs as well as the University's annual Arbor Day celebration.