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The Morton Arboretum created the ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program to establish and share a widely recognized set of industry standards for the purpose of unifying the arboretum community and providing a mechanism for benchmarking and guidelines for professional development.

The ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program recognizes arboreta at various levels of development, capacity, and professionalism. No other international program of accreditation exists that is specific to arboreta.

Any international arboretum or public garden with a substantial focus on woody plants may apply. Examples of institutions that may be accredited arboreta include botanical gardens, cemeteries, zoos, city tree collections, historic properties, college campuses, corporate campuses, nursing homes, nature reserves, and municipal parks. Accreditation is based on self-assessment and documentation of an arboretum’s level of achievement of accreditation standards, including planning, governance, number of species, staff or volunteer support, education and public programming, and tree science research and conservation.

Benefits of accreditation

  • Be recognized for achievement of specified levels of professional practice.
  • Work toward higher levels of professional standards once accredited.
  • Identify other organizations at similar or higher levels of accreditation to provide comparative benchmarks and models for further achievement.
  • Earn distinction in your community, university, college, or government agency.
  • Exert leadership and influence by serving as a model to encourage professional development in other organizations
  • Identify opportunities for collaboration with other arboreta for scientific, collections, or conservation activities.

For specific information on which level to pursue, please visit the levels of accreditation page.



Honey's Waterfall

Wilbur D. May Arboretum and Gardens