Arbor Day at the Moses Brown Arboretum

Friday, April 29
3:15 – 4:30 pm

To help celebrate the accreditation of Moses Brown’s campus as an official arboretum, we invite community members to join us in celebrating the wonderful trees and woody plants found on our historic campus on Arbor Day this year. On Friday, April 29, after school, faculty member Tom Andrew will lead a group of students, faculty and staff in labeling 50+ more trees and woody plants around campus, part of the continuing maintenance and upgrading of our Arboretum. If you are interested in participating, please reach out to Tom, (or accept his Outlook email invitation).

The Grove is the spiritual heart of Moses Brown, the site of traditional Commencement as well as a Peace Garden. MB’s campus today is dotted with beeches, oaks, pines, dogwood, maples and cherry and several trees on campus are dedicated to faculty/staff serving 30 years or more.

During Upper School Immersion Week in 2019 and 2020, several students, faculty and staff worked toward establishing an arboretum at MB with plans to formally label all the trees planted in honor of faculty/staff with 30+ years of service to MB, a tradition which former Head of School Joanne Hoffman started in 1998. In recent years, many of the older trees on campus have been identified and a generous grant from the Parents’ Association provided for many of the plaques now installed near the trees.

Last summer, Moses Brown learned that it is the first pre-primary/K-12 school in Rhode Island to receive formal accreditation for its arboretum – and the second such school in all of New England.

Moses Brown received Level I accreditation by the ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program and the Morton Arboretum for achieving particular 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. Moses Brown is also now recognized as an accredited arboretum in the Morton Register of Arboreta, a database of the world’s arboreta and gardens, a map of which can be found through this site: ​​

MB’s Arboretum includes many mature trees and shrubs, particularly a variety of stately oaks and beeches. One European beech, near the Hope-Lloyd corner, is among the oldest trees in Providence, according to the Rhode Island Tree Council. Among the younger trees on the campus, many have been planted in honor of faculty and staff with 30 years or more of service to the school; a variety of memorial trees and gardens are also located around the campus. In line with its mission to “instill the utmost care for learning, people, and place,” the Arboretum provides educational opportunities for current students, faculty, and staff while also celebrating the rich heritage of Moses Brown.

Moses Brown’s Arboretum will enhance, maintain, study and celebrate the trees and woody plants on our school’s 43-acre campus. Formal accreditation is important because it acknowledges the interconnectedness between the school’s mission and the environmental and aesthetic benefits that the trees and plants on our campus provide. Moses Brown’s Sustainability Committee acts as the governing group for the school arboretum.

At this time, 78 trees and woody plants, representing more than 50 different species, have been identified and labeled on campus. Forty-six of the trees have been planted either as memorial trees or in honor of faculty/staff members with 30+ years of service at Moses Brown; the Arbor Day event on April 29th will move the school toward the 100 different species that are required for Level II accreditation.

Read more about the Moses Brown arboretum, trees included and employees recognized, here.