The Tree Heritage Park in Ibadan, Nigeria, became the 500th arboretum to be accredited by ArbNet, the only accreditation program in the world specific to arboreta – or tree-focused botanical gardens.
The park earned level II accreditation status for standards pertaining to its tree collections, programs and operations. The Tree Heritage Park is located within and managed by the International Institute of Tropical Agriculture (IITA) in the Guinean Forests of West Africa, a biodiversity hotspot. The park hosts more than 100 species of native trees, about half of which are classified as threatened and/or endemic.
“It is a great honor for the Tree Heritage Park to be accredited, and it feels more special for it to be the 500th accredited arboretum in the ArbNet network,” said Hilde Koper-Limbourg, deputy director-general at the IITA. “I hope this will inspire others to see the value of growing indigenous trees for research, education and awareness creation.”
The Tree Heritage Park started in the early 1990s as an agroforestry arboretum incorporating both food and forest crops. In 2015, it was restored for the conservation of rare and endangered Nigerian trees. In addition to serving as a repository of genetic resources, it provides opportunities for environmental education.