BETHALTO - The Bethalto Arboretum has been awarded a Level 1 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.

The Bethalto Arboretum 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.

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Bethalto’s arboretum, on the corner of E. Central and Moreland Road, was created out of an old railroad bed consisting of 4.6 acres donated by Bethalto National Bank. It was dedicated October 15, 1966 with a few small trees. Today there are 150+ trees with over 80 different species of woody trees and shrubs identified. This includes a variety of oak, maple, evergreen, and flowering crabapple. The arboretum is open to the public with a winding pathway to walk or ride bikes in. Educational walking tours have been available through the Bethalto Library.

“We are very pleased to be recognized as an accredited arboretum by ArbNet. This honors the past community leaders who had the vision to establish this green space, validates what is being done now by our faithful volunteers to maintain the area, and encourages us to continue to improve the arboretum for the future. The Bethalto Spirit Board greatly appreciates the research, dedication, and hard work of Sandra Balsters in submitting the request for certification. The arboretum is open to the public and we look forward to sharing its beauty with many!” says Debbie Sims, Secretary of Bethalto Spirit and Chairman of the Beautification Committee.

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The certification process for this recognition was organized by members of the Bethalto Spirit Beautification Committee. Bethalto Spirit is a 501c3 non-profit organization that promotes community programs and beautification. For more information and volunteer opportunities, visit Bethalto Arboretum on Facebook.

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.

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