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Avondale Estates gets official accreditation for neighborhood arboretum

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Avondale Estates gets official accreditation for neighborhood arboretum

Volunteers installed 30 granite tree markers in the verges in Avondale Estates in March. Photo is from the city's e-news.

Avondale Estates, GA  — The Avondale Estates Arboretum has been awarded a level one accreditation by the ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program and The Morton Arboretum. The arboretum is a walkable collection of all trees throughout public green spaces and public street verges in the city.

The city’s 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, according to a press release.

ArbNet is an interactive, collaborative, international community of arboreta. The organization facilitates the sharing of knowledge, experience and other resources to help arboreta meet their goal and works to raise professional standards through the accreditation program. The program 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.

Currently, 30 trees in the Avondale Estates arboretum are labeled with their botanical and common names. The collection features a wide variety of tree species and cultivars that thrive in the Piedmont of Georgia.

“Typically, when you think of arboretums, you picture a botanical garden or a nature preserve,” said Brad Jones, chair of the Avondale Estates Tree Board, which oversees the arboretum. “By having one right here in our neighborhood, it gives residents the chance to live in a tree museum and creates an exciting opportunity for community education and engagement.”

The arboretum was established in 2019 to foster a greater understanding or and an appreciation for trees by highlighting significant tress through the city’s public spaces and providing educational opportunities.

The Tree Board’s next steps for the arboretum are to place another 36 markers over the summer, create a brochure map of the arboretum, and plan additional tree plantings and additions to the tree collections, Jones said.

“Avondale Estates has long been known for our beautiful tree canopy, and we’re thrilled to be able to continue to educate the local community about our trees through the creation of this arboretum,” said Tracy McClendon, a member of the Avondale Estates Tree Board who worked on the accreditation.

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