U-Idaho Arboretum Joins Select Few in Accredited Ranks

Tuesday, May 15 2012

MOSCOW, Idaho – The 63-acre University of Idaho Arboretum and Botanical Garden was recognized this week as one of only a handful of arboreta that has been accredited by the Morton Register of Arboreta.
The U-Idaho Arboretum received a Level III accreditation, on a four tier scale, that recognizes an arboretum with more than 500 varieties of trees and woody plants, a dedicated curator, professional collaboration with other arboreta and an active education and conservation efforts.

“This recognition comes thanks to the hard work of Paul Warnick (Arboreta Superintendent) and the many Arboretum supporters whose tireless efforts have continued to grow this University of Idaho jewel,” said Brian Johnson, assistant vice president for facilities.

The Arboretum and Botanical Garden fills the valley south of the president’s residence on Nez Perce Drive. Organized into geographical groupings of Asian, European, Eastern, and Western North American sections, and display plantings are hundreds of species and cultivars of North Temperate trees and shrubs and a xeriscape garden. In addition to native Idaho species, there are over 120 dedicated trees and groves, trails, water features.

“Individuals and organizations have long sought definitions, standards and means of establishing an official arboretum,” said Gerard Donnelly, President and CEO of The Morton Arboretum and the Morton Register. 

The Morton Register provides a system of accreditation as a service to foster the establishment and professionalism of arboreta; identify arboreta capable of participating or collaborating in certain scientific, collections, or conservation activity; and advance the planting and conservation of trees.

Donnelly explained that an arboretum is a specialized type of botanical garden that focuses on trees and other woody plants. Arboreta collect, grow, and display trees, shrubs, and other plants for people to study and enjoy, and ideally are open to the public for education and inspiration. A principal goal of arboreta is to encourage and support the planting and conservation of trees for environmental improvement and enhanced quality of life.

Charles Houston Shattuck began the university’s arboretum effort in 1910 by planting a 14-acre weedy slope with hundreds of introduced trees and shrubs for education and beautification of the campus. His legacy, “Arboretum Hill,” west of the Administration Building, was named for Shattuck in 1933, two years after his death.

For more on the arboretum: www.uiweb.uidaho.edu/arboretum/.

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The University of Idaho helps students to succeed and become leaders. Its land-grant mission furthers innovative scholarly and creative research to grow Idaho's economy and serve a statewide community. From its main campus in Moscow, Idaho, to than 70 additional research and academic locations statewide, U-Idaho emphasizes real-world application as part of its student experience. U-Idaho combines the strength of a large university with the intimacy of small learning communities. It is home to the Vandals, and competes in the Western Athletic Conference. Learn more: www.uidaho.edu.