The Carleen Bright Arboretum extends over 16 acres, with almost half of it developed as botanical gardens. Included is the Pavilion Event Center, a private event rental space with floor to ceiling accordion windows that sits overlooking our beautiful grounds. The original white chapel located at the entrance, is our Whitehall Tourist & Community Center. It welcomes and entertains local residence and guests as they discover all that Woodway offers. The Arboretum, known as the “Hidden Jewel of Woodway” boasts a certified Monarch Way-station, a koi pond, fountains, rose garden, meditation garden, the Todd Willis Nature Trail that winds through native woodlands suitable for all explorers, two McLennan County Master Gardener demonstration gardens and much more. The Carleen Bright Arboretum is the perfect setting for weddings, picnics, and adventure. Come join us for one of the many city hosted events here at the property!
Massey Meditation Grove
The Massey Meditation Grove is the newest addition to the Arboretum grounds.
The Massey Meditation Grove was dedicated in memory of Rondal and Mildred Massey, who were both lifelong residents of Waco.
Dedicated by their children, they hope “people will come here and unplug from their devices and reconnect with their own thoughts, perhaps with a higher power, with their aspirations, and that they’ll have a truly spiritual communion with nature right here in the Carleen Bright Arboretum.”
The grove features Mexican maple trees, pecan trees and live oaks.
Hike & Bike Trails
The Todd Willis Nature Trail winds through native woodlands, suitable for explorers, young and old alike. Enjoy a short walk to the Teahouse, where you can enjoy gorgeous views of the active creek below, from the comfort of a wooden gazebo compliments of a Woodway Boy Scout.
The Carleen Bright Arboretum is grateful for the continued partnership with our local gardening societies that have their work here on display. We are home to Two McLennan County Master Gardener demonstration gardens, an award winning garden by the Cactus Society and an impressive garden by the Herb Society. The Rose Garden looks after our roses. Additionally, the Texas Plant Disease Diagnostic Laboratory at Texas A&M provides plants and programming to our volunteers and monitors a test plot here on our property, developing research for the common Rose Rosetta Disease that has plagued the area.
Whitehall Tourist Center
The Whitehall Community & Visitor Center is a replica of the first church that serviced the Woodway Area. It is nestled between lovely, maintained gardens and accented by a pond of lilies and koi. Stop by and pick up a map of the beautiful Carleen Bright Arboretum or some great Woodway merchandise!
Monarch Butterfly Waystation
The Carleen Bright Arboretum s a certified waystation for monarch butterflies, providing milkweeds, nectar sources, and shelter needed to sustain monarch butterflies as they migrate through North America. We serve to create, conserve and protect our habitat for monarch butterflies. Come check out the butterflies!
Hosted on the Arboretum grounds, the Arboretum Explorers program seeks to connect children and youth with nature, inspiring and engaging them outdoors. We are hopeful of a future in which all kids spend time outside each day, creating a generation of happier, healthier children with more awareness and connection to the natural world and their impactful place in it.
Friends of the Arboretum