In order to create the Arboretum he envisioned, founding director Charles Sprague Sargent needed to work out a unique agreement. He spent four years working with Harvard College and the City of Boston to negotiate a joint financial partnership.
The result was a 1,000-year lease. The Arboretum is a Boston city park, open dawn to dusk, 365 days a year. The city provides security and maintenance of the roadways. The Arboretum, which is part of Harvard University, collects and maintains the trees and organizes the programming and research.