COVID-19 Policies & Practices – Updated Aug 18, 2021

Please be aware of the following operational updates and restrictions in accordance with state and local guidelines related to COVID-19.

Current operations include:

  • The Arboretum is currently operating under its Spring Property Hours schedule. The property is currently open from 8 a.m. to 9 p.m., with the incoming gate closing one hour prior at 8 p.m..
  • The Baker Visitor Center and Bonsai Exhibition Garden are open from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily.
  • Although the Education Center remains closed at this time, first-floor restroom access is available from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. via the Bistro doors.
  • The Connections Gallery Gift Shop is open daily from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. inside the Baker Visitor Center.
  • The Bent Creek Bistro is currently open for window service in the Education Center courtyard from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesdays through Sundays. The indoor dining room remains closed at this time.
  • The Rocky Cove Railroad has resumed operation for the season. Trains run Saturdays and Sundays from 12 noon to 4 p.m. through October (weather permitting).
  • Guest Services staff are available for assistance at the Baker Visitor Center Information Desk.

Restrictions include:

  • On August 18, 2021, Buncombe County Commissioners voted to declare a local State of Emergency requiring residents and visitors in any indoor space in public to “maximize protection for the Delta variant and prevent possibly spreading it to others.”

    “Effective immediately, indoor public spaces businesses, offices and workplaces, public transportation facilities and vehicles and indoor places the public is invited and allowed to enter and gather, shall wear a face covering (mask). This order applies to all persons at least 5 years of age. Face coverings are¬†recommended¬†for all persons over the age of 2 years of age.”

Read the entire order here.

  • Youth education campers and staff involving youth will continue to wear masks through the end of the camp season, which ends in late August. Further determinations will be made when additional guidance is available.

Thank you again for your loyalty and support. We look forward to seeing you soon!

Program Update – February 8, 2021

Following careful consideration and discussion with the Western North Carolina Orchid Society and the Blue Ridge Bonsai Society, the Arboretum has made the difficult decision to cancel both the Asheville Orchid Festival and the Carolina Bonsai Expo in 2021 due to continuing public safety precautions related to the COVID-19 pandemic.

For more than two decades, these events have drawn thousands to the Arboretum each year to see their exhibits, presentations and instruction by their dedicated communities, and while we are disappointed that we cannot safely put on these programs in 2021, we look forward to hosting them again when it is safe to do so. In the meantime, the Arboretum and our partners continue to look for ways to celebrate these unique and elegant botanical specimens in 2021 and beyond.

We appreciate the understanding, cooperation and ongoing support of our members, guests and partners during this time and invite you to discover our bonsai collection when it returns for the season on World Bonsai Day.