The Polar-Alpine Botanical Arboretum is located in 7 kilometers from Kirovsk. It is one of three botanical gardens in the world which are situated beyond the Arctic Circle, and the most northern botanical gardens in Russia. August 26, 1931, is considered to be the date of its foundation. On that day, the decision on the creation of a botanical gardens in the Khibini Mountains was made on the meeting of field party leaders headed by academician A. E. Fersman. The Arboretum occupies the territory of 1670 hectares.
Such activities as plant acclimatization and the study of Northern flora and formations are practiced in the Arboretum. Seeds and plants are brought here from different parts of the country. Not all plants manage to get acclimatized to the severe conditions of the North. But some can grow and develop here, and they form the collection of this Polar garden. Dozens of species of ornamental plants, decorating the streets of the Murmansk Region, appeared owing to the introduction activities of the Arboretum.
Besides park area, there is a reserved territory in the Arboretum. It is a garden preserve: on its area of 1250 hectares the flora of all height zones of the Khibini Mountains is reserved. There are also special nurseries for the plants of the local zone in the garden. Here you can see more than 400 species of plants growing in the Murmansk Region. It is wood species, bushes, decumbent bushes, species growing on the seacoast or on swamps and the species of tundra.
Thousands of people visit the Arboretum every year. Here you can get acquainted with the representatives of flora of different countries, with the peculiarities of their growth and development in the climatic zone where night frosts and snowfalls are possible in any summer day. The collections of plants (“The Snowdrop Garden”, “The Rocky Garden”, “The live herbarium”) are represented in nurseries, greenhouses and special expositions. Visitors of the Arboretum, who came from the most distant regions of Russia or from different countries, find the plants growing in their homeland here.
The Arboretum offers a number of excursions: Tropic greenhouse, "Plant introduction and greenery planting in Polar cities", and “Ecological path, or The Path of Geographers", which shows the height zoning of plants in the Khibini Mountains.