The Woodlawn Cemetery Awarded Level II Accreditation by Arbnet Accreditation Program

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Week-long schedule of events follows Ribbon-cutting on Earth Day, April 22nd.

On April 22, 2017, Earth Day, The Woodlawn Cemetery in the Bronx will kick off a weeklong celebration of events to announce their new Arboretum. The week of events, starting on Earth Day, April 22, and ending on Arbor Day, April 29, will feature a ribbon cutting at 11 a.m. on Earth Day. Additional events on April 22 include tree climbing classes, art lab and scavenger hunt for kids, pruning and maintenance workshops for adults, free lunch and a live chainsaw artist. Additional activities during the weeklong celebration include free school field trips for local schools, tree planting workshops and much more. More information on the ribbon-cutting event and educational seminars can be obtained by contacting Woodlawn or visiting the web site at http://www.thewoodlawncemetery.org.

Woodlawn was awarded the 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. Woodlawn 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.

The Woodlawn Cemetery Arboretum features more than 140 unique tree species and cultivars including an array of flowering, evergreen and shade trees originating from North America, Europe and Asia. The Arboretum harbors 11 specimens that are remarkable simply because of their overwhelming large size, measuring over five feet in diameter. These mature specimens include a massive white oak (Quercus alba) guarding the north edge of the Cemetery, a unique weeping European beech (Fagus sylvatica), an unusual fine-leaved cultivar of the same species, an American basswood (Tilia americana), and a black oak (Quercus velutina) that measures 6 feet across its trunk. The Arboretum also features five specimens identified in the “Great Trees of New York City” program, including a Japanese umbrella pine (Sciadopitys verticillata) and a native Eastern white pine (Pinus strobus). The Arboretum collection contains several other introduced and native trees of note including one of the largest empress trees (Paulownia tomentosa) in New York which is native to China, and a native tulip poplar (Liriodendron tulipifera ) that measures over 125 feet tall and 63 inches in diameter. Each tree in the Arboretum collection is trunk labeled and mapped for easy identification and public access.

Founded in 1863, The Woodlawn Cemetery is a historic and active 400 acres symbolizing a uniquely American blend of monuments and mausoleum architecture amidst a natural landscape. The park-like cemetery is a specimen planting habitat of over 6,500 trees including more than 140 species, extensive lawns and interspersed shrubbery creating visual impact and seasonal interest nestled in the NYC urban environment. Notable landscape designers such as the Olmsted Brothers, Ellen Biddle Shipman and Beatrix Farrand Jones contributed to the numerous individual and community memorial gardens throughout the grounds.

In 2011, the National Parks Service designated Woodlawn as a National Historic Landmark because of its rich history and dedication to historical preservation. With over 300,000 lot owners comprised of artists and writers, business moguls, civic leaders, entertainers, jazz musicians, suffragists, and more, including Herman Melville, Joseph Pulitzer, Fiorello LaGuardia, Celia Cruz, Duke Ellington, Irving Berlin, and Elizabeth Cady Stanton, Woodlawn proudly hosts more than 100,000 visitors each year.

"Our mission is to preserve and celebrate the aesthetic and natural treasures of The Woodlawn Cemetery, and we are honored to have been awarded Level II Arboretum Accreditation recognizing our efforts to be a green space of contemplative beauty focused on conservation, education and preservation,” said Mitch Rose, President & CEO of The Woodlawn Cemetery & Conservancy.

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 http://www.arbnet.org.

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Barbara Selesky
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