I used to know this place inside and out.
I used to revel in its beauty, its mission, its welcome to people from around the world.
I used to walk here.
I used to lead groups of others through these gardens … through these trees.
I once went sledding down over the hill from here … and landed in the creek.
I used to belong in this place.
I used to wander through this place with family … friends … my dog … groups of people, busloads of children and eager gardeners who donated their time and talents to enhancing its beauty, its history, its story.
But now …
… tears for this place.
I am heartbroken for the people who visit here and planned to, for the programs that will not be offered — at least in the near future, and for the people who have dedicated their lives and careers to caring for this beautiful area, improving it and watching as it flourishes.
On Sept. 16 a tornado ripped through this place … Secrest Arboretum at the Ohio Agricultural Research & Development Center’s Wooster campus. The arboretum is hard hit. Buildings are flattened. Damage is evident across campus. I have not yet seen photos of the houses surrounding campus … of the town itself. But I wait for a report from Farmguy, who is driving there today on his way to work.
For more information, photos and continuing coverage: