Andrew Gapinski to join the University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum as new director

March 6, 2023
Andrew Gapinski.

The College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences (CFANS) at the University of Minnesota is pleased to announce Andrew Gapinski as the new director of the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum (fondly referred to as the “Arb”) effective May 1, 2023. Gapinski succeeds Peter Moe, who announced his retirement last year after serving in a variety of Arboretum roles for 50 years, most recently as the organization’s director since 2016. 

Established by the University in 1958 and today part of CFANS, the 1,200-acre Arboretum is a signature public garden destination for more than 500,000 visitors annually, with more than 30,000 member households.

Gapinski comes to the Arb from the Arnold Arboretum of Harvard University in Boston — North America’s oldest public arboretum — where he spent 10 years and most recently served as the director of horticulture. In this role, he cared for the plant collections and landscapes, leading a team of full-time employees, seasonal teams, research fellows, and horticultural interns. Andrew was responsible for all aspects of horticulture, arboriculture, and natural areas management; ground operations and infrastructure; and grounds security and vehicle management. Beyond care of the Arnold’s collections and grounds, he was a leader in programs and initiatives across the institution, including leadership of domestic and international plant-collecting expeditions. Gapinski worked closely with the Arnold Arboretum director and leadership team on strategic planning and fundraising initiatives and served as project lead for grounds capital projects across the facility’s 281 acres. 

“Andrew’s distinct combination of leadership experience, numerous and diverse accomplishments, and clear passion for our beloved Arb made him the ideal choice for this critical role,” said Brian Buhr, CFANS dean. “His strong background, community focus, and visionary mindset position him perfectly to build on the Arb’s rich legacy and lead it into an ever more vibrant future.” 

As the new director of the Arb, Gapinski will develop a long-term vision and strategic plan for the next decade and beyond, building on the strong foundation Moe developed and nurtured to make the Arb a garden for all Minnesotans for generations to come.

“The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum is an exceptional demonstration of the collaborative impact that university-based public gardens can have on bringing together diverse ideas and perspectives from across the communities they serve. I am thrilled with the opportunity to return to the Midwest, to work alongside a tremendously talented and dedicated team to envision and build the future of the Arboretum,” said Gapinski.

Prior to his work with the Arnold Arboretum, Gapinski held a variety of horticultural and administrative leadership roles at the Arboretum at Penn State in University Park, Pa., and the Morton Arboretum in Lisle, Ill. He earned his MS in Public Horticulture from the University of Delaware in Newark, Del., as part of the Longwood Graduate Program, and his BS in Horticulture from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. 

About the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum and CFANS

The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum serves as a research center and extension of the University of Minnesota's College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences (CFANS). CFANS strives to inspire minds, nourish people, and sustainably enhance the natural environment. CFANS has a legacy of innovation, bringing discoveries to life through science and educating the next generation of leaders. Every day, students, faculty, and researchers use science to address the grand challenges of the world today and in the future. CFANS offers an unparalleled expanse of experiential learning opportunities for students and the community, with 12 academic departments, 10 research and outreach centers across the state, the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum, the Bell Museum of Natural History, and dozens of interdisciplinary centers.