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Bernheim Receives BGCI Botanic Garden Accreditation

By Hannah Hunt

Bernheim is proud to announce that our Arboretum has achieved accreditation through Botanic Gardens Conservation International (BGCI), joining a prestigious family of only 96 institutions worldwide; 25 of those in the United States. BGCI’s Accreditation distinguishes botanic gardens from non-botanic gardens and recognizes achievements in plant conservation. This new accreditation marks our second for the year, following on the heels of our level four ArbNet accreditation received in March.

The application process was a rigorous 18-section form that examines leadership and strategic direction, availability to the public, Collections management, research capacity, conservation activities, sustainability and ethics, specialist staff expertise, and network membership.


BGCI explains the importance of recognizing and supporting botanic gardens doing important conservation work:

“Activities that botanic gardens do uniquely well – such as documenting, understanding, growing, and conserving plant diversity across the taxonomic array – are not sufficiently recognized by policymakers and funders. This has led to the erosion of the values and activities that define a botanic garden compared to a public park, for example. The BGCI Botanic Garden Accreditation Scheme assesses and places a high value on these unique skills, knowledge, and data in botanic gardens.”

Accreditation brings tangible benefits for participating gardens, including recognition, peer comparison, creating and maintaining standards for excellence, funding opportunities, and motivation for botanic garden leadership.

In addition to the 2,544 accessioned specimens in the Arboretum, Bernheim participates in special conservation projects for Quercus (oak), Castanea (chestnut), and Juglans (butternut).

BGCI Accreditation Certificate_Bernheim Arboretum and Research Forest

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