National Park Service U.S. Department of the Interior

National Register of Historic Places Program:
Landscape Architecture Month - Showcase
Bartlett Arboretum

The National Register of Historic Places is the official list of the Nation's historic places worthy of preservation. Authorized by the National Historic Preservation Act of 1966, the National Park Service's National Register of Historic Places is part of a national program to coordinate and support public and private efforts to identify, evaluate, and protect America's historic and archeological resources.


National Register coordinators were invited to submit images of designed landscaes listed in the National Register that they think are among the best in their state.

Bartlett, Samuel L., House
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Photograph courtesy of the Kansas State Historic Preservation Office

Bartlett Arboretum

Belle Plaine, Kansas

Reference Number: 10000180

The 15-acre Bartlett Arboretum is located at the edge of the small agricultural community of Belle Plaine in Sumner County. Euphrates Creek runs through the property making a circuitous route to the Ninnescah River two miles downstream. What began as an undeveloped, treeless parcel of land alongside the railroad tracks on the edge of town was transformed first into a recreational landscape with athletic fields, picnic areas, and a waterfowl preserve with a variety of plant and tree species, and later, an arboretum complete with a designed formal garden, nursery, and hundreds of species of plants. There were two primary phases of development. The first transformation occurred in 1910 with the construction of athletic fields, damming of the creek, planting of trees, and introduction of waterfowl and fish. The second major phase of development began in the mid-1920s with the creation of the formal garden and floral plantings and was intended to evolve and renew with each planting season. Other elements and structures have been introduced to the landscape since the 1920s, including a nursery to develop and experiment with a variety of plant species, but in a manner that enhances its intended design. It was nominated for its landscape architecture.

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