The educational arboretum is a natural area set up as part of the System of Museums in Poggiardo and Vaste.
It is located on the slopes of the Serra di Poggiardo, on the road known as the “Strada vicinale Santi Stefani”, a short distance from the cave church of the same name and from the palaeo-Christian archaeological complex of Fondo Giuliano.
It has an area of almost a hectare.
The concentration of numerous plant species that characterise the habitat of the Serre Salentine hills was the starting point for the creation of a park designed to conserve the Mediterranean maquis ecosystem.
Another objective was the creation of an educational itinerary that would enable the public, with particular reference to school students, researchers, tourists and nature lovers, to appreciate and enjoy the environment.
The area includes large spaces where visitors can peacefully enjoy the rich selection of shapes, fragrances and colours offered by the natural context.
Along the paths are benches and illustrative panels that describe the various herbaceous, arboreal and shrub species.
These include the orchid rockrose, strawberry tree, myrtle, rosemary, thyme, mastic and many others.
Thanks to the presence of fully-fledged outdoor classrooms the Arboretum is also used for important initiatives linked to environmental education and the safeguard of biodiversity.