The Fullerton Arboretum is planning for a soft opening on July 7, according to Greg Dyment, the Arboretum's director.
The Arboretum closed in March 2020 because of the COVID-19 pandemic and has remained closed to the public, but offers virtual tours, Zoom workshops and annual plant fundraisers throughout the year.
Dyment said that the opening days and times are expected to be different than usual hours during pre-pandemic times, but Dyment said that visitors can find additional information via their website, which will be updated next week.
The Arboretum had job openings available to students, but Dyment said he is unsure if some of those positions have been filled. He also said that previous facility employees will also be returning for the reopening.
"Our staff has been furloughed and we're going to be bringing them back first before we hire anybody new," Dyment said.
Dyment said it is currently unknown whether masks will be required once the Arboretum opens in July. California will ease its mask mandate on June 15, and will allow fully vaccinated people to go without masks. However, since the Arboretum is located on CSUF's property, Dyment said they will need to wait for further instruction from the university.
"We are part of the university, so we will do whatever the university asks us to do. Whatever the university policy is on masks is what we are going to follow," Dyment said.
Dyment said that the Arboretum will not host the annual Brews and Blues event this year because their partner, The Anaheim Brewery, went out of business in April.
In 2011, the Anaheim Brewery partnered with the Arboretum for the Brews and Blues event hosted every summer in August, and offered unlimited craft beer tastes, wine and live music.
Last summer, the event was hosted virtually, and attendees who purchased beer helped financially support the local breweries and the Arboretum.
Money raised from last year's event and from the Mysun Foundation, a private foundation that donated money to the facility, helped the Arboretum bring its horticulture staff back full-time and maintain the plant overgrowth throughout the facility.
Harriet Bouldin, development, membership and volunteer manager for the Arboretum, said that it is unfortunate that the Arboretum will not be holding the event this year as it has gained popularity each year.
"The founders of Anaheim Brewery were the original team who helped us to launch and build the event," Bouldin said. "Unfortunately, we would not have time to develop a relationship with another brewery as the planning for this event begins in March each year."
Bouldin said that since the facility will no longer host the event, they are ramping up their facility rental program and hope to host weddings and other events in August that will bring in revenue for the Arboretum.
Because large-scale events take months in advance to plan, Friends of the Fullerton Arboretum, the facility's support group, are planning smaller community engagement events for this summer, Bouldin said.
This story was updated to state that the Fullerton Arboretum is planning for a soft opening on July 7, according to Greg Dyment, the Arboretum’s director.