Otterbein Granville Accredited as Level I Arboretum

Posted on: April 21, 2022

This blog was originally published in 2019. It was updated in February 2022. 

Otterbein Granville 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. One of the few (20) accredited arboreta in Ohio, Otterbein Granville 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.

Arbor Day Celebrations

Otterbein Granville celebrated becoming a Level I Accredited Arboretum through ArbNet on Arbor Day (Friday, April 26, 2019) by planting an Ohio buckeye tree, the state tree of Ohio. Spearheaded jointly by Landscaping Manager Cindy Dill and the Landscaping Committee of Otterbein Granville’s Residents Association, this will be the first Buckeye tree on the Otterbein Granville campus.

Otterbein Granville’s Executive Director Doug Helman officiated over the ceremonial planting, with members of Dawes Arboretum in attendance: Luke Messinger, executive director; Leslie Bline, volunteer and outreach coordinator; and Greg Payton, director of living collections.

Don Hostetter, chairman of the Granville Tree and Landscape Committee, also spoke, thanking Otterbein Granville for offering another arboretum that the greater community may enjoy. Finally, resident Virgil Hoftiezer shared fun facts about the Buckeye tree, resident Harriet Stone (the first person to move into Otterbein Granville in 2005) spoke about previous tree plantings, and chair Dave Skeen made comments on behalf of the members of the Landscape Committee, which also includes Jim Erickson, Vic Feldmiller, Rosemary Joyce and Bob Stowe.

“’Where is Otterbein Granville’s Buckeye Tree?’ is one of the most common questions we have had from residents and visitors alike, and it seemed like Arbor Day was a good time to plant a tree on-site that we can showcase,” Dill said.

The botanical name for the Ohio buckeye tree is aesculus glabra, one of the 13–19 species of Aesculus, also called horse chestnuts. The tree is native primarily to the Midwestern and lower Great Plains regions of the United States. The common name “Buckeye” was derived from the Native Americans who noticed that the glossy, chestnut-brown seeds with the lighter circular “eye” looked very similar to the eye of a buck (male) deer. Instantly dubbed “buckeye” in frontier speech, the mysterious nut was used as a general cure-all for generations.

Meadow and path with natural arch at Otterbein Granville

Flora at the Otterbein Granville Community

There are currently 687 trees in the Otterbein Granville community, highlighted by a variety of oaks, elm hybrids, maples, dogwoods, cherries, birch, and spruce. A spectacular Lacebark Elm is a highlight amongst the residential villas, and the native Black Tupelo was chosen as the signature tree of the Arboretum during the 10-year anniversary of the founding of the community.

The trees on our campus are an integral part of the quality of life for our residents, staff, and visitors. Proper planting, mulching, and maintenance practices will ensure that future generations will be able to enjoy a sustainable landscape, alongside almost 50 acres of native surrounding woodland and forested areas. 

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. 

Visit Otterbein Granville 

See our beautiful campus for yourself and enjoy the difference our thoughtful community planning and landscaping can have on your quality of life. 

Besides our mature trees and forests, Otterbein Granville features open land with nature trails, a pond, ravines, and meadows that residents enjoy. A comprehensive, on-campus health care program offers health and wellness programs, physician services, therapies, assisted living, skilled nursing, memory support, and long-term nursing care.

Explore Otterbein Granville and Schedule a Visit