University Park awarded global recognition by arboretum accreditation program

June 19, 2018

UNIVERSITY PARK, Pa. — Penn State’s University Park campus has been awarded a Level II Accreditation by The ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program and The Morton Arboretum for achieving particular 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. Penn State 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.

“We are thrilled to be awarded accreditation by ArbNet,” said Bill Sitzabee, associate vice president and chief facilities officer of the Office of Physical Plant. “We take great pride in and recognize the lasting impact our campus landscape has on the academic experience, the environment and our faculty, staff, students and campus visitors.”

The University Park core campus covers more than 800 acres and is home to more than 17,000 trees. The University has a rich history of grounds management, horticulture and arboriculture, which began in 1856 when William G. Waring was appointed to the position of superintendent of farms and grounds, and supervised the planting of trees, orchards and shrubbery on campus.

The tradition of having well-maintained grounds continues today and supports Penn State’s mission of teaching, research and service. Its quality contributes to acting as a living laboratory for world-class educational programs, including landscape architecture, as well as for internship programs for horticulture, landscape architecture and more; fostering lasting relationships between students and the University; enhancing the academic experience by providing places to study, relax and recreate; and benefiting the environment by managing stormwater and reducing the urban heat island effect.

The University also has an all-encompassing tree care plan identifying the policies, procedures and practices in establishing, protecting and maintaining trees on campus, with the goal of ensuring a safe, attractive and sustainable urban forest. The University Park campus canopy includes a number of heritage trees and heritage tree groves, including Hort Woods and the Old Main lawn. These trees boast exceptional historical, cultural and aesthetic value because of their age or association with an important event or individual. The canopy also has commemorative trees honoring students, parents, retired faculty and staff, organizations and events.

For more information on Penn State’s University Park canopy, please visit

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

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Last Updated June 19, 2018