City of Lakeland Awarded Level I Accreditation by ArbNet Accreditation Program
LAKELAND, FL (July 13, 2020) | The City of Lakeland has been awarded a Level I 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. The City of Lakeland 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.
The City of Lakeland’s arboretum was established in 2020 after Parks Assistant Superintendent Brian Dick suggested that the City digitize and map the existing trees around Lake Morton. This was the obvious next step after Pam Page, Parks Deputy Director established Lake Morton into a collection of flowering trees.
Page said, “After combining and acting on everyone’s ideas, it made sense to contact ArbNet and apply for accreditation as an international arboretum. The criteria allowed us to include the fruit tree collection at Hollis Garden and the palm collection at Lake Wire. This makes Lakeland the only community in Florida that we are aware of to have full city-wide arboretum status.”
She added, “The City of Lakeland has legitimate collections with rare species. We worked with a number of staff members with a mission to digitally identify the trees for the public with descriptions so others may appreciate them. It’s time to share what the Parks Department has done with its landscapes and parks throughout the decades.”
1. Taxodium Mucronatum or Montezuma Cypress (Lake Morton)
2. Annona Conica or Conical Fruited Custard Apple (Hollis Garden)
3. Pseudophoenix Sargentii or Buccaneer Palm (Lake Wire – Endangered Florida Native)
These beautiful tree collections were created and have been maintained for several decades by the City of Lakeland Parks Department. The vast variety of trees stand as a testament to the City’s unique interest in horticulture, arboriculture and botany over the years. The City has photographed and mapped the collections for the citizens to enjoy. Visitors can go to www.lakelandgov.net/trees to view the various collections and to learn more about Lakeland’s unique urban tree canopy. Stacy Smith, Grounds Maintenance Supervisor II with the City’s Parks Department said, “The City of Lakeland has acquired and thoughtfully applied colorful and unique trees to our public landscapes for decades. Now those efforts can be displayed not only to our citizens, but to the rest of the world through the ArbNet accreditation program.”
The City of Lakeland was incorporated in January 1885 and has grown to become one of the largest inland communities in Florida. With a current population of over 100,000, Lakeland continues to grow. It has been designated a Standard Metropolitan Statistical Area by the US Census Bureau for over 30 years. With tourist attractions and gulf beaches only an hour away, Lakeland continues to capitalize on its ideal central Florida location along the I-4 corridor. The City owns and operates Lakeland Electric, the third-largest publicly owned utility in Florida and it was one of the first to offer power in the Sunshine State over 110 years ago.
For additional information about the City of Lakeland, please explore LakelandGov.net.
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