University campus awarded international arboretum designation

Salve Regina University’s 80-acre oceanside campus, which features 1,200 trees of 100 different species, has been recognized as an accredited arboretum by the Morton Arboretum’s ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program. The Level II accreditation acknowledges the University for its high standards of professional practices deemed important for arboreta and botanic gardens.

The ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program is the only global initiative to officially recognize arboreta at various levels of development, capacity and professionalism. Salve Regina is now recognized as an accredited arboretum in the Morton Register of Arboreta, a database of the world’s arboreta and gardens dedicated to woody plants.

“Thanks to this official designation as an accredited arboretum, thousands of new visitors from around the world will be able to appreciate the incredible beauty of these magnificent living treasures,” said President Jane Gerety, RSM. “Since the 1980s, Salve Regina has led an ongoing effort to protect, preserve and increase its assortment of rare and unique trees for the benefit of future generations.”

Salve Regina is committed to preserving, maintaining and protecting its diverse campus landscape in historic Newport. A large percentage of its campus arboretum is made up of very mature, exotic specimen trees planted during the “back to nature” movement of the late 19th century by the original Newport estate owners.

The University’s Historic Tree and Landscape Program, launched in 2012 in partnership with F.A. Bartlett Tree Experts, includes a comprehensive documentation, monitoring and maintenance plan to preserve, protect and replenish campus trees. The project also includes development of a detailed digital catalog and walking tour (map.salve.edu).

Preservation of campus heritage has been a hallmark of Salve Regina policy for more than two decades. The restoration, preservation, care and innovative academic use of the historic campus is a publically stated part of the University’s strategic plan. The University’s efforts have been recognized and honored by such organizations as the Preservation Society of Newport County, the Newport Historical Society, Save America’s Treasures, the Victorian Society of America, the J. Paul Getty Trust, the National Trust for Historic Preservation and many others. 

“We value this land surrounding our campus, and we feel a strong sense of responsibility to preserve it for future generations of students, members of the community and visitors to Newport,” said Salve Regina Chancellor M. Therese Antone, RSM. “We want to preserve these natural resources out of respect for the fact that those trees were here long before Salve Regina received its charter from the state of Rhode Island in 1934. We are also more than aware that Newport’s unique social and literary history, like its present topography, is rooted to the wide variety of trees that make their home here.”

The entire city of Newport, including Salve Regina’s campus, is recognized by the Morton Register of Arboreta as an Arboretum, Level II, one of only three in the state of Rhode Island and the only citywide arboretum in New England. The University’s tree inventory is also now part of Rhode Island Tree Register’s online registry. Through “Rhody Trees” (www.rhodytrees.org), the public can access both information and the geographic locations of most tree specimens surrounding the campus.