SEATTLE - The Washington Park Arboretum will open its largest project in 50 years this weekend. The is two acres of arboretum uplands that are now home to 10,000 plants grown from wild seeds collected in New Zealand.

Foundation Executive Director Paige Miller said it s just the first of five eco-geographic forests to be planted in the arboretum.

The idea is to expose visitors to the forests of the world all in one place, and show off a fantastic view of Seattle.

The park features species collected from several areas of New Zealand, a New Zealand-style boulder field designed by Seattle Parks and a bench carved by a native Maori wood carver who will help dedicate the park on Sunday.

I feel right at home, said carver Caine Tauwhare. It s lovely.

The $2 million park is funded by a mix of public and private money and is a joint project of Seattle City Parks, the Arboretum Foundation, and The University of Washington Botanic Center.

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