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July 10, 2018
Designated the state of Missouri’s arboretum in 1993, the Northwest Missouri State University campus is home to some of the oldest and most majestic trees in the region – and now it’s accredited.
The ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program and the Morton Arboretum recently granted the Missouri Arboretum at Northwest a Level II accreditation for achieving standards and professional practices outlined by its global initiative. The ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program recognizes arboreta at various levels of development, capacity and professionalism.
“The trees provide welcome shade on hot summer days and a break from the strong, cold winds of winter,” said Pat Ward, an arborist who joined Northwest’s staff as arboretum director in February. “In the spring, the flowering trees brighten the day and in the fall, the leaf color is breathtaking. The importance of these trees has not gone unnoticed.”
For decades, the Missouri Arboretum has served as an outdoor classroom where students have learned plant identification, proper tree care, growth patterns and types of reproduction as well as the impacts of plant material on the environment.
“Some of our trees are more than 100 years old and we have a number of trees growing outside the normal range for their species,” Ward said. “Our accreditation with ArbNet opens new doors for us as it facilitates the sharing of knowledge, experience, resources and even plant material with other arboreta.”
Ward said the accreditation supports the goals of Northwest’s Arboretum Committee to add to the University’s tree collection and increase education programs and research opportunities for students as well as the general public.
Before Northwest’s founding in 1905, 85 acres of the 330-acre campus were part of a tree farm and nursery established by Thomas Gaunt in 1857. As the University set its own roots, fast-growing, short-lived trees and slow-growing, long-lived trees were planted. The Gaunt home, built during the 1870s, now serves as a residence for the University president and his family.
The Northwest campus, which also has earned a designation as a Tree Campus USA by the Arbor Day Foundation, is home to more than 1,800 trees and more than 150 species cultivated from throughout the world. Three trails – the Gaunt Trail, Tower Trail and Chautauqua Trail – also traverse the campus to help visitors learn about the trees and get an up-close view of them.
To learn more about the Missouri Arboretum, visit www.nwmissouri.edu/arboretum/.
Mark Hornickel, Communication Manager
firstname.lastname@example.org | 660.562.1704 | Fax: 660.562.1900
Northwest Missouri State University
215 Administration Building | 800 University Drive | Maryville, MO 64468