Parking Lot Renovation & Expansion

Projected Completion: Summer 2020

In the year ahead, The North Carolina Arboretum is making several upgrades to its facilities, including its main parking lot and auxiliary bus parking lot located across Frederick Law Olmsted Way. Beginning in March, the Arboretum’s two parking lots will undergo a major renovation to add additional parking capacity, improve traffic flow and create a more sustainable stormwater runoff system. The project is expected to be complete by early summer and is made possible in part through a grant from the Buncombe County Tourism Development Authority.


The main parking lot will remain open throughout the entire renovation project; however, certain areas will be blocked off and surfaces may be unpaved at times. Please drive with caution and pay attention to signage related to closures and detours. Throughout construction, the Arboretum will maintain wheelchair access in the main parking lot, and reserved handicap spaces will be available close to both buildings. Visitors are encouraged to check in at the Information Desks for an updated accessibility map upon arrival.

Environmental Impact

Great care has gone into the design of our parking expansion in order to minimize the environmental disturbance; however, some trees will have to be removed in the process, including some of those visible from Wesley Branch Road.

All of the trees that will be removed have been surveyed and assessed by the U.S. Forest Service, and the Arboretum has established a tree re-planting plan to identify the removed trees and replace them with new plantings throughout the property.

Twenty percent of the new spaces will be created using pervious pavers that will allow for stormwater to infiltrate into the ground instead of running off into storm drains. As part of the Arboretum’s Willow Pond project and larger sediment and erosion control plan, our storm drain system has also been reconfigured to funnel runoff into Willow Pond, which will create wildlife habitat and help to slow down and clean the runoff before it reenters Bent Creek.

Thank you for your patience and understanding as we embark on this exciting season of growth and renovation that will serve Arboretum guests for decades to come!