The ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program and The Morton Arboretum announced two accreditations. The Chicago Zoological Society, which manages Brookfield Zoo, and the Brenton Arboretum of Dallas Center, Iowa were each awarded Level II accreditation.
The Chicago Zoological Society
By achieving particular standards of professional practices deemed important for arboreta and botanic gardens, the Chicago Zoological Society is now recognized as an accredited arboretum in The Morton Register of Arboreta.
At Brookfield Zoo, the Chicago Zoological Society has launched comprehensive efforts to connect urban families with nature and wildlife and to train informal educators on ways to integrate nature and science-based learning opportunities into their curricula. In addition, the zoo offers a walking map that identifies its many majestic trees across the 216-acre park that is home to more than 2,000 animals. The tree collection can be appreciated by visitors as they stroll the zoo’s expansive walking trails.
That collection includes notable native trees not commonly found in landscapes, such as the pawpaw (Asimina triloba), which boasts fun foliage and banana-flavored fruit; common sassafras (Sassafras albidium), which (despite its name) is not commonly seen in “captivity,” and the shagbark hickory (Carya ovata), a slow-growing tree with beautiful bark. Unusual global finds include the caster-aralia (Kalopanax pictus), a showstopper from Asia; the Japanese whitebark magnolia (Magnolia hypoleuca), a standout with leathery leaf texture and highly fragrant flowers, and the Balkan pine (Pinus peuce), a threatened five-needle pine from the Balkan Peninsula. Interestingly, the zoo has both an American elm, an example of a species that was nearly wiped out by Dutch elm disease, and a Japanese Zelkova (Zelkova serrata), a beautiful tree often used to replace American elm but rare in our region.
In providing visitors up-close encounters with nature, the zoo fulfills its lifelong mission of connecting the community with nature through educational programs, realistic exhibits and a constantly vibrant and flourishing landscape, including both native and nonnative trees.
Brenton Arboretum of Dallas Center, Iowa
By achieving particular standards of professional practices deemed important for arboreta and botanic gardens, the Brenton Arboretum is now recognized as an accredited arboretum in The Morton Register of Arboreta.
Walk along one of several grass paths and experience quiet enjoyment at the Brenton Arboretum. Landscape Architect Anthony Tyznik designed stunning vistas throughout the arboretum using expanses of natural prairie between collections. 2,100 trees and shrubs are grouped by genus on 140 acres to allow comparative evaluation between species and varieties within a genus. The arboretum features notable crabapple, conifer, oak, elm, Osage-orange and Kentucky coffeetree collections, including wild-collected and propagated plants.
Educational opportunities exist for visitors and members with classes, art and music events, field trips and tours available year round.
The Brenton family homesteaded the land that would become the arboretum in 1853. Buz and Sue Brenton founded the arboretum in 1997 as a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. The arboretum is open to the public year round with a mission to bring joy to all through the beauty and knowledge of the natural world of trees through education, research, conservation and quiet enjoyment. Learn more at www.thebrentonarboretum.org.