A Museum of Trees

NCC is now an accredited Arboretum

Mia Rossi,

Northampton Community College’s Bethlehem Campus has been awarded a Level I Accreditation by The ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program and was added to the Morton Register of Arboreta, a database of the world’s arboreta and gardens dedicated to woody plants.

ArbNet is the only global initiative to officially recognize arboreta at various stages of development and is an interactive, collaborative, international community of arboreta. The Bethlehem Campus’s arboretum, spanning the entire 206-acre campus, hosts over 47 species of trees.

Karen Klein, NCC biology professor, began efforts in 2017 to have the college’s Bethlehem campus accredited as an arboretum after she saw the number of beautiful trees living on the campus. Some of the identified species include American basswoods, pignut hickory and mockernut hickory. 

Klein has tagged many of the species found on campus for students, faculty, staff and community members to explore. Each tagged tree at NCC has a barcode that one can scan with their phone that takes them to the new wild NCC website, http://wildncc.com/category/plants/trees/, describing some interesting information about the tree. Klein says there are more than the 47 identified species and is working on positive identification for the remainder of the members of the arboretum.

Klein notes that, “Having an arboretum on campus broadens and enhances the ability for anyone to identify trees, not just our students, and allows us all to appreciate the diversity of trees we have here.

“We also have students interested in pursuing botany and forestry professionally, and they can benefit from this. Having our arboretum accredited serves as a bridge for the community to come to the college to enjoy and engage in our beautiful campus. This brings notoriety to our campus, reinforcing that we are a first-class educational and research institution in the Lehigh Valley, and it brings our campus an honor and distinction that other campuses in the Lehigh Valley do not have,” Klein said.

More information about the accreditation is available at www.arbnet.org.