The ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program and the Morton Arboretum has renewed Level 1 Accreditation for the Allegheny Arboretum at Indiana University of Pennsylvania.
The ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program is the only global initiative to officially recognize arboreta at various levels of development, capacity and professionalism. The Allegheny Arboretum at IUP is also recognized as an accredited arboretum in the Morton Register of Arboreta, a database of the world’s arboreta and gardens dedicated to woody plants.
“Receiving – and sustaining – a Level I accreditation from ArbNet validates the efforts that have been made to create, maintain and grow the Allegheny Arboretum at IUP,” Allegheny Arboretum Chairperson Dr. Jerry Pickering said. Pickering is a retired biology faculty from IUP. “Accreditation also provides information about what steps need to be taken to continue to develop the arboretum.”
Established in 2000, the Allegheny Arboretum encompasses the entire 374 acres of the IUP campus, including a 150-acre woodland. In 2005, the Allegheny Arboretum officially became part of the university. It is overseen by the Allegheny Arboretum Board, which provides guidance in meeting the arboretum’s goals and objectives.
The mission of the Allegheny Arboretum is to provide a learning environment both on and off campus that seeks to advance its global understanding of temperate forests worldwide, cultivate an aesthetic appreciation for regional flora of the Allegheny Plateau, and demonstrate practical applications of woody plant materials to modify and mitigate local environmental conditions.
Originally accredited in 2014, the Allegheny Arboretum was ranked the tenth most beautiful college arboretum by Best College Reviews in 2015.
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.
This international initiative 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 the ArbNet website.
The Allegheny Arboretum at IUP includes currently undeveloped university property that will become Confluence Discovery Park. The 2030 Master Plan for Confluence Discovery Park aspires to turn a degraded, industrial floodplain site with an eroding stream system into a healthy
and beautiful landscape with restored streams, new ponds, riparian forests, mesic meadow, and naturalized plantings. Its trails, boardwalks, pavilions, and visitor center will support education and exploration for both study and tourism.