Wayne’s Laurelwood Arboretum has been awarded Level II Accreditation by The ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program and The Morton Arboretum, for achieving particular standards of professional practices deemed important for arboreta and botanic gardens. Level II criteria include having a minimum of 100 species, varieties or cultivars of trees or woody plants; having a defined collections policy; and supporting enhanced educational and public programs relating to trees. Laurelwood is also now recognized as an accredited arboretum in the Morton Register of Arboreta, a database of the world’s arboreta and gardens dedicated to woody plants.
“ArbNet Accreditation has been a goal of ours for quite some time,” said Linda E. Ransom, President of Friends of Laurelwood Arboretum. “Our Plant Collection Management Committee, led by Betty Montagne, worked diligently for the past several years identifying, cataloging and tagging our special collections of trees, rhododendrons and native plants and built our collections database with 1,600 separate listings to date. And our Community Outreach Chair Bonnie Joachim spearheaded public programs and tours that offered educational opportunities in horticulture to our community. As a volunteer organization, we are proud of this accomplishment.”
Laurelwood Arboretum is a 30-acre botanically diverse property that features woodland trails and gardens, wildlife, two ponds, streams and hundreds of varieties of rhododendrons, azaleas and other unusual species of plants and trees. Once a commercial nursery, Laurelwood is now maintained as a public park through a partnership between the Township of Wayne and the non-profit organization Friends of Laurelwood Arboretum, Inc. The Friends organization provides a variety of opportunities for horticultural appreciation and education through public programs, tours and outreach activities.
ArbNet is an interactive, collaborative, international community of arboreta. The accreditation program, sponsored and coordinated by The Morton Arboretum in Lisle, Illinois in cooperation with American Public Gardens Association and Botanic Gardens Conservation International, is the only global initiative to officially recognize arboreta based on a set of professional standards. More information is available at www.arbnet.org.