Stewart Companies

Cylburn Nature Education Center Topping Out Celebration

Earlier this week on January 3, The Cylburn Arboretum Friends (CAF) joined with Lewis Contractors, Ziger|Snead Architects, and Intreegue Design to celebrate a major milestone in the building of our Nature Education Center. The roof structure was adorned with an evergreen wreath to celebrate the construction process.

Traditionally, builders nail a tree branch to the topmost beam in this celebration. The tree is the key symbol and has been used by many different cultures throughout the years. In Egypt, using a tree honored those who had died during construction. In Scandinavia, a tree at the highest building point appeases the tree-dwelling spirits. In America, erecting a tree on the top of a new building reconciles with the Native American belief that no building should be taller than a tree.

For us, at Cylburn Arboretum, trees are of utmost importance. The evergreen symbolizes positive momentum for our project – good luck, continued growth, and pride in what is to come.

The Nature Education Center is a 3,600 Gross Square Feet project. The 1912 Carriage house at Cylburn Arboretum is being renovated for staff offices and classroom space. In addition, we are adding 1,760 Net Square Feet in a new exhibit hall (the barn) – a continuation but also reimagination of our old nature museum with an adjoining outdoor classroom. The Nature Education Center is designed to promote learning and exploration both on the grounds and in the building itself. The project is expected to be
completed by March 2023.

About Cylburn Arboretum Friends:
Open to the public year-round, Cylburn Arboretum is an oasis in Baltimore City with hundreds of specimen trees, gorgeous gardens, and miles of woodland trails. Cylburn is Baltimore’s arboretum—providing a unique learning environment for both the seasoned horticulturalist as well as a young Baltimorean. Cylburn Arboretum Friends (CAF), a non-profit created in 1954, is devoted to cultivating a beautiful and educational environment in Northwest Baltimore. Visit for more information.

Project Team:
Ziger|Snead Architects – Project architects
Metcalfe Architecture and Design of Philadelphia – Exhibit designers
Intreegue Design, Inc. – Landscape architecture
Cityscape Engineering, LLC – Civil Engineer
Lewis Contractors – Construction management