Seventy years ago, a swath of farmland on a hillside became the Core Arboretum. Beside the Monongahela River, with a rail-trail running through it, the tree sanctuary is made up of 91 acres. Inside, there is a spot for you. On a footbridge above a ravine, you could see the winding of a brook under blossoms.
Or in the wooden amphitheater, you can sit in a chapel of one as the wind rustles the leafless trees in anticipation of spring. It is kept up by its director Zach Fowler who gives tours and leads more than 500 volunteers in upkeep. Named for Earl Core, a longtime West Virginia University botanist, the arboretum is a backdrop for visitors to get to know the most bewitching aspect of the state: its landscape. So next time you’re in town, take along a packed lunch and offer gratitude to the people who kept this bit of nature right on campus.