MANHATTAN, Kan. — Trees in Kansas are the constant focus of foresters and staff at the Kansas Forest Service and now the KFS has been recognized for its work.
The Kansas Forest Service has been awarded a Level One 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 at various levels of development, capacity, and professionalism. The Kansas Forest Service is also 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.
In the late 1930s, on property that would become the future home of the Kansas Forest Service in Manhattan, Donald Duncan planted hundreds of Ponderosa pines as part of an U.S. Department of Agriculture-Agriculture Research Service provenance study from seeds that he had collected from all over the pine’s native range. Since the late 1970s, landscaped-sized trees have been planted at the KFS state office to honor foresters and staff who have retired or passed away while in service to the agency. Oaks, pines, pecan, male Osage-orange, eastern redbud, Kentucky coffeetree, Ginkgo, and black walnut are among the species found in the property’s Honor Grove.
The loss of several aging pines has prompted the planting of new Ponderosa pines and other less common and rare species of trees. Some of the new species are not typically found in Great Plains communities or homesteads, but several species showcased are durable options. Evergreen and deciduous tree collections, a shrub collection, and several rare and unusual species can be found throughout the property.
“We’re pleased that the Kansas Forest Service Demonstration Arboretum and Honor Grove has been accepted into the Morton Arboretum’s network,” said Kim Bomberger, community forester with the Kansas Forest Service. “We’re excited to have a place for people to learn more about trees and shrubs suitable for planting in Kansas and the Great Plains. The ArbNet program is a good fit with the Kansas Forest Service’s interests of planting, studying, and encouraging the conservation of trees.”
On Monday, April 24 from 11:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m., the Kansas Forest Service welcomes the public to visit the new arboretum for its 130th Anniversary and Arbor Day celebration. Activities will include a tree walk, seedling giveaway, tree planting, and a Smokey Bear meet-and-greet. Mr. K’s food truck will be on site with food available for purchase.
— Jennifer Williams, Communications Coordinator, Kansas Forest Service
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