John Lloyd Van Camp
1898 - 1999
About the Arboretum
John Lloyd Van Camp (1898-1999) was born in Toronto, Ontario, Canada on June 9, 1898. He received a B.S. in Forestry and a M.S. in Botany, both from the University of Toronto. Van Camp held various forestry-related jobs throughout Canada until coming to the United States in 1932, when he accepted a position as Instructor in Forestry at Michigan State University.
Van Camp began his career at Purdue University when he was appointed Assistant Extension Forester in 1936, when Forestry Extension in Indiana was in its infancy. Professor Van Camp, known affectionately as “Van” by his colleagues, was instrumental in expanding 4-H and other youth programs, particularly those in forestry and wildlife. He eventually became State Extension Forester and served in that capacity until his resignation in July 1949, when he accepted the position of Secretary of the Canadian Forestry Association in Montreal.
One of his Purdue extension publications 50 Trees of Indiana, coauthored by T.E. Shaw, continues to be a very popular educational bulletin, and is used by school teachers and 4-H educators across the state for tree identification exercises. It is currently being revised in CD format to include not only updated material, but also educational exercises.
In recognition of Van Camp’s life-long dedication to forestry and education, his family and friends created an endowment in 1998 and presented it as a 100th birthday present to him. The endowment helped to establish and will perpetuate an arboretum originally designed to showcase 50 common native trees of Indiana. However, the Van Camp Arboretum currently contains 75 native tree and 12 native shrub species and will likely continue to grow as new species are added. It is located at Martell Forest in Tippecanoe County, 8 miles west of Purdue University’s West Lafayette campus. The native trees and shrubs of the arboretum are grouped so as to reflect the natural forest communities that occur in Indiana.
Sally Weeks, Dendrologist at Purdue University, is the manager of the Van Camp Arboretum. Please feel free to contact her with any question regarding this ongoing project.
J.L. Van Camp’s daughter “Boo” and her husband Bill Wuestenfeld at the Arboretum, November 2003.
Pam Sebrey (daughter of Boo & Bill), Boo and Bill Wuestenfeld, November 2006.
Manager of the Van Camp Arboretum
Department of Forestry and Natural Resources