UPDATE (April 7, 2021)–W&J has received recognition for the 8th year in a row for our Campus Arboretum through the Arbor Day Foundation. The program name has changed from Tree Campus USA to Tree Campus Higher Education, but the standards remain the same.
See coverage of our previous Tree Campus recognitions here.
WASHINGTON, PA (March 15, 2021) – Washington & Jefferson College (W&J) has earned renewal of its Level I Accreditation by The ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program and The Morton Arboretum. The ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program is the only global initiative to officially recognize arboreta at various levels of development, capacity, and professionalism. W&J 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.
“Through my partnership with [Director of Facilities] Tim Lucas, our combined dedication to a healthier treed landscape, and the Biology Department’s annual funding of a student employee dedicated to the Campus Arboretum, we’ve been able to earn this renewal,” said Associate Professor of Biology Jason Kilgore, Ph.D.
Kilgore and Lucas manage the arboretum with assistance from an Arboretum Advisory Committee of students, staff, faculty, and community members. “This recognition by The ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program is an honor and reflects W&J’s dedication to a beautiful, safe, and green campus.”
The Campus Arboretum at W&J College was established in 2012 when Kilgore worked with alumnus Kyle Karwatski ’14, then a student, to design and populate the first database with tree locations and identities. Since that first year, many W&J students have contributed to the Arboretum through monitoring trees, installing tags, planting and maintaining Arbor Day trees, and using trees in their class research and art projects. In addition, Washington High School students and local Girl and Boy Scout groups have participated in Arboretum-related activities. Every two years, all of the campus trees are resurveyed to measure diameter growth and calculate the amount of carbon sequestered from the atmosphere.
The Arboretum encompasses W&J’s entire 65+ acre campus. Since first applying in 2013, the Campus Arboretum has been honored with the Tree Campus USA recognition by the Arbor Day Foundation for seven consecutive years. As of April 14, 2020, the Arboretum includes more than 1,100 trees from 103 species. These numbers were provided by this year’s Arboretum Information Specialist, Brandon Marcucci ’21, Environmental Studies Major.
“Our Arboretum, which extends throughout campus, is a beautiful part of W&J, but it goes far beyond that,” said Jeffrey Frick, Vice President for Academic Affairs and Dean of the College. “It presents invaluable learning opportunities for our students and for the greater community. We are incredibly proud of the work our faculty, staff, and students have done over the years to maintain our Arboretum and earn this recognition.”
ArbNet is an interactive, collaborative, international community of arboreta. ArbNet facilitates the sharing of knowledge, experience, and other resources to help arboreta meet their institutional goals and works to raise professional standards through the ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program. 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. The program offers four levels of accreditation, recognizing arboreta of various degrees of development, capacity and professionalism. Standards include planning, governance, public access, programming and tree science, planting and conservation. More information is available at www.arbnet.org.
About Washington & Jefferson College
Washington & Jefferson College, located in Washington, Pa., is a selective liberal arts college founded in 1781. Committed to providing each of its students with the highest-quality undergraduate education available, W&J offers a traditional arts and sciences curriculum emphasizing interdisciplinary study and independent study work. For more information about W&J, visit www.washjeff.edu, or call 888-W-AND-JAY.