The John F. Kennedy Arboretum, located near New Ross in County Wexford, is a fitting tribute to the memory of President John F. Kennedy, whose great-grandfather Patrick was born in the nearby village of Dunganstown. The arboretum covers an impressive 252 hectares on the summit and southern slopes of Slieve Coillte, boasting a remarkable plant collection of presidential proportions. It contains 4,500 types of trees and shrubs from all temperate regions of the world, grouped into 200 forest plots by continent.
The ericaceous garden is a particular highlight, featuring 500 different rhododendrons, along with numerous varieties of azalea, heather, dwarf conifers, and climbing plants. The lake is another picturesque feature of the arboretum and serves as a sanctuary for waterfowl. Visitors can take in breathtaking panoramic views from the summit of the hill, which stands at 271 meters above sea level.
The visitor center houses engaging exhibitions on JFK and the arboretum itself, making it a fascinating destination for history and nature enthusiasts alike. Overall, the John F. Kennedy Arboretum is an exceptional tribute to the Kennedy family's Irish heritage and a beautiful showcase of the world's diverse flora.