Hiram College is pleased to announce that it has been awarded a level one accreditation by the ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program and the Morton Arboretum, for achieving standards of professional practices deemed important for arboreta and botanic gardens.

The ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program is the only global initiative to officially recognize arboreta at various levels of development, capacity, and professionalism. Hiram College is also now recognized as an accredited arboretum in the Morton Register of Arboreta, a database of the world’s arboreta and gardens dedicated to woody plants.

“This new accreditation helps us make our campus trees a focus of both formal and informal education,” said Zack Fox ’21, sustainability coordinator at Hiram College. “Our commitment to maintain a diverse and healthy tree canopy will provide opportunities for a closer connection to the natural world, as well as resources for research and teaching.”

Fox, alongside biology and political science student Neil Robertson ’23, served as two instrumental figures in bringing the arboretum to fruition. In collaboration with ABM, Hiram’s facilities management team, Fox and Robertson curated and labeled a map of the campus arboretum with a full inventory of campus trees, as well as a program schedule for environmental education opportunities, and a plan to ensure continued maintenance.

“The Hiram College Arboretum is an important step for our college community to recognize the significance of trees, and it is a great opportunity to make our beautiful trees accessible to a broader community,” said Robertson. “We will now be a part of a global network of arboreta, which will increase Hiram’s visibility and make us eligible for various grants exclusive to arboreta. In the future, our arboretum will also be able to provide meaningful experiences for students working on or learning about trees and create public educational events where Hiram students, as well as other community members will be able to learn about the trees we have on campus. Overall, the arboretum will help Hiram College make the outdoors more accessible to the greater community.”

Hiram College has a long-standing tree tradition and over the past few years, members of the campus community have worked diligently to not only preserve but grow the tree canopy. The College’s physical plant has incorporated best practices in arboriculture and works to ensure continued maintenance to trees, such as regular trimming to remove dead limbs and other tactics to promote healthy growth. Some of the oldest trees on campus, including a 200-year-old oak tree in front of the College’s Teachout-Price Hall, have been given special attention in recent years to continue preservation and prevent disease and damage. Furthermore, in 2021, the Arbor Day Foundation honored Hiram College for its commitment to effective urban forest management with the Tree Campus Higher Education® recognition.

About Hiram College: Founded in 1850, Hiram College provides students of all backgrounds with an attainable private education that teaches the 21st-century skills needed to thrive professionally and personally in the face of inevitable and constant change. Built on a community that fosters student-faculty collaboration, the College equips all students with the tools necessary to embrace active learning in the classroom, in Ohio, and beyond through technology, internship, study away, research, and other experiential opportunities for growth and development. Recognized by Colleges of Distinction, The Princeton Review, U.S. News and World Report, and as a top baccalaureate college by Washington Monthly, Hiram enrolls over 1,000 undergraduate and graduate students in academic programs on its Northeast Ohio campus and online. For more information, please visit www.hiram.edu.

About ArbNet: 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.

Arb Net Accredited Arboretum

By Jenelle Sanders