Cobblestone Museum now accredited as arboretum

By Ginny Kropf, correspondent Posted 11 August 2023 at 11:01 am

69 trees, 34 varieties on museum property in Gaines

Provided photos: A Norway maple grows next to the gallery and office of the Cobblestone Museum.

CHILDS – The Cobblestone Museum has been accredited as an Arborertum Level 1 by ArbNet, an interactive, collaborative international community of arboreta.

The ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program is the only global initiative to officially recognize arboreta based on a set of professional standards.

The legwork and planning for the accreditation are attributed to Willem DeRuysscher, a senior at Albion High School and summer intern at the Cobblestone Museum.

He spent hours mapping and labeling all of the trees on the Cobblestone campus, according to director Doug Farley.

The mission of the Cobblestone Museum Arboreta is to educate visitors and attract new guests, which ultimately benefits all new visitors, Farley said.

There are a handful of notable trees on the Cobblestone’s property, and a total of 69 trees and 34 species.

A flowering crabapple is in full bloom next to the Cobblestone Museum’s Ward House.

A leaning white walnut tree is located behind the National Historic Landmark Cobblestone Church. A very large catalpa tree has the thickest trunk on the campus. There are also two sets of twins, two sycamore trees planted next to each other and two horse chestnut trees – one next to the church and the other next to the Visitors Center.

The smallest tree is the dwarf Alberta spruce. A resilient shrub native to most of the United States, the Cobblestone’s is only five feet seven inches tall. By contrast, the tallest tree is a Norway pine approximately 87 feet tall, making it taller than the bell tower of the church.

Other trees include a Norway maple next to the office/gallery, a trumpet vine next to an outhouse and a flowering crabapple next to the Ward House.

To receive the arboretum accreditation, the Cobblestone Museum has devised a Museum Arboretum Master Plan. The mission is to provide a recreational and educational experience and beauty that will attract more visitors to the museum.

A trumpet vine is one of the many species of trees and shrubs on the Cobblestone Museum campus.

Objectives are to care for new species native and exotic, educate visitors on basic tree maintenance and care, celebrate trees within the arboretum and in the surrounding community, educate visitors on the characteristics and origin of the trees on their campus and engage with the community by allowing donations and holding an Arbor Day event.

As director, Farley will oversee arboretum development. Maintenance will be performed by staff and volunteers.

A catalog of arboretum trees and an electronic map will be kept in a computer by the director and is available on the arboretum website. The electronic map utilizes GPS technology and an excel sheet documents the attributes of each tree, such as species and origin.