The University of Northern Colorado's campus arboretum - its trees, shrubs, flowers, plants and landscaping - has been accredited by the national ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program.
The campus arboretum includes more than 3,700 trees and hundreds of different woody plants, with some heritage trees more than 100 years old; more than 17,000 annual flowers; hundreds of perennial plantings; a Colorado grassland exhibit; a xeric demonstration garden with 24 community garden plots; and numerous xeriscapes.
The accreditation program, which includes specific criteria for four levels of accreditation, is sponsored and coordinated by the Morton Arboretum in cooperation with the American Public Gardens Association and Botanic Gardens Conservation International. UNC's arboretum received level 1 accreditation, the starting level.
UNC's grounds also have been designated as a Tree Campus USA by the National Arbor Day Foundation. Its arboretum is now recognized as an accredited arboretum in The Morton Register of Arboreta.
"To be designated and recognized as a certified arboretum offers the university a number of benefits ranging from student recruitment and retention to healthy food production via our community gardens," said Pat McDonald, UNC's manager of Landscaping and Grounds. "Arboreta attract and retain researchers, faculty, staff and students. We maintain an arboretum, not just a campus landscape. Our arboretum also represents our history, which needs to be preserved for future generations for teaching and the quality of life for our community."