Blue Ridge School is now an Accredited Arboretum (Level I) through ArbNet an interactive, collaborative, international community of arboreta. ArbNet facilitates the sharing of resources to help arboreta meet their institutional goals and to raise professional standards through the ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program.
The Blue Ridge School campus covers 750 acres near the Shenandoah National Park in Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains. Our tree-dominated landscape features Appalachian native trees and numerous old-age oak species which shade the campus’ front lawn. A one-mile interpretive trail was built and is still maintained by students, and is a learning too for hikers. These trails also highlight the natural history of the School and promote a sense of stewardship for the School community. Students have also placed sings throughout the interpretive trail and the front lawn that identify trees and plants, as well as provide general ecological and backcountry information.
Last year, Blue Ridge School embarked on a multi-year sustainability campaign. It’s feature project was an arboricultural study of about fifty specimens on the front lawn to plan for their upkeep to ensure a healthy future.
ArbNet accreditation helps highlight the commitment of administration and faculty, as well as the work of our students to steward our tree-dominated landscapes and take full advantage of the learning opportunities afforded by our unique place.
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.