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Drawing the curtain on an almost-50-year career at the University of Minnesota, Landscape Arboretum director Peter Moe will officially retire once a successor is named.

Serving as the arboretum's director since 2016, prior to which he was director of operations and research since 1991, Moe is credited with expanding the Chanhassen arboretum to 1,200 acres and gaining growth in "membership, attendance, earned income and philanthropy." 

"As Moe was promoted to positions of increasing responsibility, including becoming the Arb’s fifth director, he was guided by the Arb’s mission to welcome, inform, and inspire all visitors through the outstanding displays, protected natural areas, horticultural research, and education," the university said in a press release.

Moe started at the university as a student gardener in 1973. He then was hired as a research plot technician at the arboretum's Horticultural Research Center (HRC) after he graduated from the Horticultural Science Department at the College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Sciences (CFANS). Moe then was hired as the arboretum landscape maintenance director after two years at the HRC. He also earned his master's degree in agriculture from CFANS in 1981.

He also met his wife, Susan, at the arboretum. She was working as a plant breeder and scientist. The couple raised their three kids near the arboretum.

“I have been very blessed to be part of the University of Minnesota Landscape Arboretum and Horticultural Research Center, a world-class institution that has made a positive impact on the lives of many Minnesotans. With a great staff, we have developed and evaluated new plants, inspired gardeners with our beautiful plantings, educated many adults and school children about horticulture, and have been a source of horticultural information for the state,” Moe said in a statement Friday.

The university also recognized Moe for starting the arboretum's Plant Conservation Program in 2013. The program is dedicated to protecting and conserving rare species of the upper Midwest and native orchids of Minnesota.

Every single program at the arboretum is of Moe's doing, the university says. 

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