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Research and Conservation


Our program can support your research in several ways. We provide plant material for research projects, we can assist you in locating plant material from other sources, we facilitate permit requests for plant material or for performing research across the MSU Campus and Campus Natural Areas, and we can support undergraduate researchers in the Beal Scholars Program. In some cases, we can highlight your research in the garden or in our outreach and education programs and we welcome the opportunity to discuss potential demonstration or experimental research in the Garden. 


Our collection of over 2,000 plants, each with provenance data and a well-documented cultivation history, are available for research use. Simply contact us at or fill out a permit request for the W.J. Beal Botanical Garden and Campus Arboretum. 


The staff of the Garden work with curators from botanical gardens across the U.S. and the globe and are willing to provide guidance or assist you in finding appropriate plant material (tissue, seeds, living plants) for your research. We have import permits for international acquisitions which will allow us to acquire seeds internationally under some restrictions.


The Director of the Garden handles research and collecting permit requests for the MSU Main Campus (excluding Horticultural Gardens, Clancy Lewis Arboretum, and Radiology Gardens) and the MSU Campus Natural Areas. Permits are required for any destructive research or teaching use of campus resources, any work that requires equipment or flagging to be left on site, or collecting any organisms. Visit here for more information.


Undergraduate students that are working in the Garden or Campus Natural Areas on projects related to the mission of the Garden are able to participate in the Beal Scholars Intern program even when supervised by faculty not associated with the Garden. Contact us at for more information.


We are happy to partner with you to highlight your research when appropriate. We have the ability to reach a broad audience, to host events or include your research in one of our ongoing programs or installations. We are especially happy to do so, when your work aligns with the foci of the Garden on stewardship of natural resources, sustainability, and wellness of students, faculty and staff. Please ask us how we might work together.

Photos courtesy of Derrick Turner, University Communications.