In early 1979, hurricane David struck the east coast, devastating the Baltimore area. The Western Run Stream overflowed it's banks, flooding the Mount Washington Garden Apartments where the arboretum is now located. The water swept away cars, and flooded the lower level of the apartments. The apartments were condemned, and the buildings, pool, parking lots and tennis court were removed. The area was then placed under the authority of the City parks department.
For over ten years the site was left to be overrun with vines, trash and invasive plants. The area was then graded over and a deep trench was cut for a new sewer line. The garden committee of the Mount Washington Improvement Association saw an opportunity to re-claim this highly visible open space for the community, and received permission to plant a few trees and shrubs.
From this small beginning, with the assistance of TKF, the Macht Foundation, Baltimore City Parks, private business, and numerous hard working individuals, the arboretum has grown. It has become a gem of the neighborhood and the City as a whole.
Since the early 2000's the Mount Washington Preservation Trust has been the guardian and care taker of the arboretum. Hundreds of plants have been established, offering a reason to visit throughout the year. Pergolas, benches, nature trails, ponds, waterfalls, signage and utilities have also been provided, enhancing the visitor experience of this living resource.
The now nationally recognized arboretum is used by schools, neighborhood groups, and by residents for events such as weddings and memorial services. This wonderful resource is maintained solely by residents who volunteer through the Mount Washington Preservation Trust. It would not exist without the efforts of these fine folks. The arboretum is located at the northwest corner of Kelly Avenue and Lochlea Road just west of the Kelly Avenue bridge. For additional information contact the Mount Washington Preservation Trust.