By Lauren Ricks STAFF WRITER
The East Texas Arboretum and Botanical Garden will be expanding its horizons.
Arboretum Board President Bobbie Hawkins said the board signed the papers on 3.487 acres in October. The land is adjacent from the Arboretum on the corner of Patterson Road and State Highway 175.
“It’s going to be a small garden,” Hawkins said. “It will have a walking trail that is handicap accessible, with rest areas.”
She said the “Garden in the Forest” will be in memory of James B. and Lillian Cain. Hawkins said the project should be completed sometime in 2009, but they don’t have an exact date.
The new addition will allow the Arboretum to be more visible and have a bigger sign, Hawkins said.
“Now people will know we are there when they drive by,” Hawkins said. “I think the biggest impact is that the public will see what we have.”
She said the Arboretum is also working on additional parking. Hawkins said the Arboretum has been working on three and a half acres on Patterson Road near the exit gate since before Christmas.
“It will hold about 250 cars,” she said.
Hawkins said the project should be completed in a few months.
Parking has become a bit of an issue for the Arboretum during large events such as the Fall Festival. During the annual festival cars were seen parking up and down Patterson Road and on State Highway 175.