As an affiliate of The University of North Carolina system, one of the state’s most important economic drivers, the Arboretum occupies an important niche in the mountains of western North Carolina. Every major program targets an economic sector, either existing or emerging, and makes strategic contributions to the sector.

Conservation of diverse mountain botanical resources capitalizes on both a rich heritage and new capabilities for validation and use, based on recent advances in life sciences. Traveling exhibits, Winter Lights during the holidays and destination weddings send beneficial ripples into the tourism economy. Work with climate as business risk management issues helps build a fledgling regional science and technology sector.

Overall, advancements in Arboretum programs reflect a broader economic contribution for all citizens.