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LISLE, Illinois (Apr. 10, 2015) – ArbNet, the interactive community of arboreta, has accredited 100 arboreta through its Arboretum Accreditation Program, which is facilitated by The Morton Arboretum. Launched in 2011, the program offers the only accreditation in the world specific to arboreta.

The accreditation program recognizes arboreta at various levels of development and capacity, based on an arboretum’s collections and curation, education and public programming, scientific research and conservation initiatives, governance, and staff or volunteer support. To date, the program has accredited arboreta from 33 states and five countries.

“The accreditation program is designed to recognize standards of excellence in arboreta and foster professionalism of arboreta worldwide,” said Gerard T. Donnelly, PhD, President and CEO of The Morton Arboretum. “The goal is to strengthen the arboretum community, which enables collaboration and advances the planting, study, and conservation of trees.”

“ArbNet accreditation provides confirmation that we are managing our arboretum’s plant collections and other resources according to internationally accepted, professional standards,” added Glenn D. Dreyer, Director of the Connecticut College Arboretum.

Congratulating the first hundred arboreta to be accredited, Donnelly said, “We are working to build participation in the program for the benefit of arboreta individually and collectively, and to further the good they do for trees and the public.”

The program provides guidance based on best practices, as well as tools to help organizations pursue and achieve accreditation. Any arboretum or other types of public gardens with a substantial focus on woody plants is eligible to apply for accreditation through the program. Examples of institutions that can qualify include botanical gardens, cemeteries, zoos, city tree collections, historic properties, college campuses, corporate campuses, nursing homes, nature reserves, and municipal parks.

Such organizations are also part of the Morton Register of Arboreta, a database that is the basis for the ArbNet online community and collaborative network.

About ArbNet and the Arboretum Accreditation Program

ArbNet was created to facilitate the sharing of knowledge, experience, and other resources to help arboreta meet their institutional goals and to help raise professional standards. Through ArbNet, arboreta from around the globe can work collaboratively as part of a broad network to help advance the planting and conservation of trees. The ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program is sponsored and coordinated by The Morton Arboretum in cooperation with American Public Gardens Association and Botanic Gardens Conservation International. The program offers four levels of accreditation, recognizing arboreta of various degrees of development, capacity and professionalism. Accreditation is based on self-assessment and documentation of an arboretum’s level of achievement of accreditation standards. Standards include planning, governance, labeling of species, staff or volunteer support, public access and programming and tree science, planting and conservation. More information is available at

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Friday, April 10, 2015