Hilltop Arboretum Director Peggy Davis Coates Retires

lsu hilltop arboretum by water

Peggy Davis Coates, executive director of the LSU Hilltop Arboretum, has retired from her position after over 14 years in the role.

Located on Historic Highland Road, the LSU Hilltop Arboretum is under the joint management of the Robert Reich School of Landscape Architecture and the Friends of Hilltop Arboretum. Together they are responsible for the strategic direction of the LSU Hilltop Arboretum and ensure a united vision, mission, stewardship and accountability.

Coates is a native of South Louisiana and joined the LSU Hilltop Arboretum as executive director in June 2007. Prior to that she was with Baton Rouge Green as their program director for 12 years. Coates received her Master of Landscape Architecture from Louisiana State University and her Master of Science in urban forestry from Southern University. In her years of service at the LSU Hilltop Arboretum, she worked in concert with the Friends of Hilltop Arboretum (responsible for $3.9 million in private donations for facility and site development projects), LSU’s Robert Reich School of Landscape Architecture, and a core of amazing volunteers to develop the arboretum into a regional environmental destination.

Hilltop’s executive director has the overall responsibility for all business and educational functions including development, volunteer recruitment, financial support, personnel management, and program development. In addition, she works in concert with the Robert Reich School of Landscape Architecture to integrate the arboretum in the school’s core curriculum. Hilltop’s Imogene Newsom Education Facility is available to the faculty for classroom instruction, and the grounds are available for outdoor applications including plant materials and design, construction, and collaborative research initiatives.