The West Chicago Park District has been awarded a Level II Accreditation by The ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program and The Morton Arboretum, for achieving 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 District 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 West Chicago Park District was established in 1972 and since has been committed to creating an enhanced quality of life through effective programs, progressive facilities and preservation of parks and natural resources. The District has over 400 acres of parks, woodlands, trails and gardens. In 2018 the Park District took a new stance on tree management by completing a tree inventory and report; this launched the initiative to become an accredited Level II Arboretum. Research efforts revealed a 2,394 tree population of 106 different species in managed areas alone. Notably, Reed-Keppler Park is home to a community center, water park, artistic gardens, dog parks and band shell among many other amenities. The 100-acre park has the largest tree population in the District with 1045 trees of 85 distinct species and a recognizable 625 tree remnant oak stand.
The Park District uses an interactive web-based application through ArcGIS where visitors can explore the parks and find out information about the trees around them including species, height, diameter, caliper, crown spread and condition among other details. Data accessed through this application will also aid in the efficient management of the trees in order to create efficient work plans. The District works constantly with other organizations to spread the vision of the arboretum’s efforts in preservation of natural resources. In 2018, the West Chicago Garden Club donated 3 pecan hickory trees in celebration of arbor day. Upcoming goals include creating educational programs such as tree identification to offer to the community. Michael Gasparini, Superintendent of Parks said, “The West Chicago Park District has always been known for its amazing forests and wooded parks. The Level II Arboretum accreditation awarded by ArbNet has given new life to an ever aging and every growing forest.”
About the West Chicago Park District
The West Chicago Park District was established in 1972 and since has been committed to creating an enhanced quality of life through effective programs, progressive facilities and preservation of parks and natural resources. We are West Chicago Park District - innovative, dedicated, focused, creating community, achieving better results, impacting lives, ever evolving, moving forward, Here We-Go! For more information, visit we-goparks.org
ArbNet is an interactive, collaborative, international community of arboreta. ArbNet facilitates the sharing of knowledge, experience, and other resources to help arboreta meet their institutional goals and works to raise professional standards through the ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program. The accreditation program, sponsored and coordinated by The Morton Arboretum in Lisle, Illinois in cooperation with American Public Gardens Association and Botanic Gardens Conservation International, 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. More information is available at www.arbnet.org.