Becoming an Arboretum

by Lori Litchman, Board Member

Historic Fair Hill is super excited to announce that we are applying for Level 1 accreditation to become an official arboretum! Trees have always been an important part of Historic Fair Hill, which is why there are so many amazing giant, old trees growing on the grounds.

The application process has entailed identifying all the different species of trees who call the grounds home. Special thanks to board member, Miriam Fisher Schaefer, for taking time to update our list of trees, and former board member and neighbor Dan Anderson, for updating our official tree map.

It turns out that we have 60 different species of trees on our little slice of green space. And, 69 percent of all of our trees are native to our area. Native trees and plants provide food and shelter to a variety of animals, including hawks, squirrels, songbirds, and opossums.

Our trees help battle the heat island effect, felt in parts of the city where there isn’t sufficient tree canopy to cool down those hot, humid summer days. The more trees an area has, the quicker it can cool down.

The Arboretum Accreditation Program is run through ArbNet, and was spearheaded by the Morton Arboretum in Illinois. The program is free to apply to and if granted Level 1 status, it would allow Historic Fair Hill to develop more tree-themed programs and will open up more possible funding opportunities. It will also ensure that our trees will always be around to do all the great things trees do, like releasing oxygen that we all need to breathe.

To apply for Level 1 Arboretum status, we had to demonstrate that we had at least 25 different species. After identifying our top 31 best trees, Historic Fair Hill purchased tree labels so that our visitors can start to learn the names of our trees. So, the next time you are on the grounds, look for the new signs!

Lori will be leading a Spring Nature Walk through our trees on Saturday, April 9th. More information coming soon.

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