The Arboretum in White Station: A Gift From the Metcalfs


Katie Lamm

George Metcalf (12), a catalyst for White Station now having an arboretum, nails on a label to a tree on White Sation’s campus. With over 30 trees on campus, over 30 labels had to be written and made for each type of tree.

Taking over 50 hours and plenty of yard work, White Station has more than 30 types of trees, and now officially has an arboretum, thanks to Corrie and George Metcalf (12). Having an arboretum, a collection of different species of trees in a given area, was a process that began with the Metcalfs, a family that has been sprucing up Sparta ever since their children were young. 

“I was doing a college tour a couple years ago all across the east coast…I saw that pretty much all the colleges had an arboretum, and my mom has always gotten me interested in nature,” George Metcalf said. ”I thought that I could definitely do it at White Station since we have such a big campus.”  

 This process took months to complete with identifying, labeling and categorizing trees around the White Station Campus. A big conflict that came in the Metcalfs’ way was how long it took.

“It definitely took a lot of time,” George Metcalf said. “I worked for probably over 50 hours.” 

According to Corrie Metcalf, both her and her son had to find over 30 species of trees on campus. By identifying every tree on campus and planting different species, White Station now has 31 different types of trees. 

This is a unique accomplishment. Colleges across the nation have arboretums, but for a highschool to have one is rare. White Station is one of the two public high schools in Tennessee to have an arboretum. 

This accomplishment has been this family’s way of giving back to their school according to Corrie Metcalf. 

“We’ve always worked on campuses wherever my kids have been in school— it’s been our service… and we love it,.” she said.