Botanic Garden of Smith College Gains Accredited Arboretum Status
The Lyman Plant House (Conservatory) at the Botanic Garden of Smith College is named for the Lyman family of Northampton, owners of one of the homesteads making up Smith's original campus. The primary donor for the Conservatory was Edward H. R. Lyman. His summer estate is now the campus preschool and the garden's 15-acre Fort Hill Nursery.
The ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation program and the Morton Arboretum announce the Botanic Garden of Smith College of Northampton, Mass. has been awarded a Level 3 accreditation by meeting arboreta/botanic garden standards. The Botanic Garden of Smith College is now recognized as an accredited arboretum in the Morton Register of Arboreta.
The ArbNet accreditation program is sponsored and coordinated by the Morton Arboretum in cooperation with American Public Gardens Association and Botanic Gardens Conservation International.
For Michael Marcotrigiano, the director of the Botanic Garden of Smith College, the accreditation for the garden is the recognition of the garden’s long-term commitment to botanical science and landscape, and recognizes the work put in over the past century in building one of the finest plant collections in New England.
The garden is set on 125 acres, encompassing an arboretum, specialty gardens, a 12,000-sq. ft. glass conservatory and an exhibition gallery. Since its founding in 1895, the garden has fostered plant education and been a living museum of plants native to New England and world flora. There are over 10,000 documented, labeled and mapped plants broadly representative of native and nonnative species, ranging from cultivars of landscape plants, to wild-collected species with provenance that underpins the garden’s conservation efforts.
The education component of the garden is through exhibits, audio and guided tours, lectures, interpretive signage and a mapping kiosk. Some 3,000 school children visit the garden each year. The disciplines of the faculty range from biological sciences to engineering. Interns, research assistants and work-study students are given the opportunity to learn through hands-on experience.