The Newton Arboretum and Botanical Garden exists to serve the community as an educational display of native and introduced plant material useful in the beautification and enhancement of the Iowa landscape. The arboretum also serves to demonstrate environmentally sound plant selection and maintenance techniques as well as provide an area for the enjoyment and appreciation of nature.
The Arboretum occupies six acres of land in the southeast portion of Agnes Patterson Memorial Park along 3000 North 4th Avenue East. More than 185 individual trees of 150 species cover the grounds. The park is filled with demonstration beds including three annual beds, a mixed perennial bed, an ornamental grass bed, a rose bed, two woody shrub beds, a shade garden, a tulip bed, a rose bed, a butterfly garden, a water garden, and a native prairie. The park also has a large pond and over 3,000 feet of hard surface trails. Other focal points include the Betty Allen Gazebo, the Smith Garden Arbor, the Swanger Bow Bridge, and numerous sculptures. The Arboretum was developed and is managed by Project AWAKE. Project AWAKE is a 501(c)(3) public charity. No tax dollars have been used in the development and maintaining of the Arboretum. The Arboretum is maintained by a volunteer Board of Directors and the "Friends" of Project AWAKE.