The idea for the arboretum came about in January of 2018, when Kendal at Granville Executive Director Doug Helman received a phone call from one of our board members about potential interest from Dawes Arboretum in assisting us to become a certified Level I Arboretum. Knowing that Kendal Crosslands (Level II) & Kendal at Oberlin (Level I) had acquired this certification, the idea was quite intriguing, and thus started our journey of meetings and research with Dawes and our colleagues at the two Kendal’s, putting out a survey and taking a poll of our residents, and finding we had enough interest to go forward with exploring this opportunity.
A little over a year later, thanks in large part to our partnership with Dawes, our project was awarded a Level I Accreditation in April 2019 by the ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program, sponsored and coordinated by The Morton Arboretum near Chicago. This program offers four levels of accreditation and is the only global initiative to officially recognize arboreta at various levels of development, capacity, and professionalism. The program standards include planning, governance, public access, programming and tree science, planting, and conservation.
To be officially recognized by ArbNet as one of the few (18) accredited Level I arboreta in Ohio is a great achievement for our Kendal at Granville residents and community. Our resident driven Landscape & Arboretum committee assisted Cindy Dill, the Landscaping Manager, in meeting the application process criteria, creating a logo & tree labels, choosing official photos and documenting over 600 trees in our community.
Features of the Arboretum
Set on a 94-acre property with a 2-acre pond within a forested area, and 5 miles of walking trails, the campus of Kendal at Granville is a great spot for nature lovers to hike, relax on one of our many benches, and unwind. With the proximity and variety of ecosystems, the health benefits of spending time in our natural areas is a big attraction to the residents of our community.
Our future goals are to preserve mature trees and plan for replacements and additions, annually add labels to trees, continue to diversify our tree collection, and practice conservation to benefit the quality of life for our trees, wildlife, and pollinators. In the future, we look forward to Kendal continuing a sustainable stewardship tree plan, making available self-guided pamphlets with tree lists and maps that will earn distinction in our community.
The Kendal at Granville Arboretum currently has 95 species of trees in our collection, highlighted by a variety of native Ohio species such as Oaks, Elms, Maples, Dogwoods, Walnuts, Hickories, Redbuds, Beech, and Honey locust. A spectacular Lacebark Elm is a focal point amongst the residential cottages & villas, and the native Black Tupelo was chosen as the signature tree of the Arboretum during the 10-year anniversary of the founding of the community.
To commemorate the inaugural Kendal at Granville Arboretum accreditation and Arbor Day event in April 2019, an Ohio buckeye was chosen, the state tree of Ohio, and the first buckeye tree to be planted on the Kendal campus. Hoisting gold shovels that were first used for the community groundbreaking in 2002, Doug Helman, members of the Landscaping staff, and resident Landscape committee members planted, mulched, and watered in the new tree.
Within the Kendal Community since 2015:
- The Landscape Department has given over 200 independent and Health Center residents, prospective residents, staff, and friends & family of residents seasonal John Deere Gator rides throughout the community and surrounding pond, meadow, and forested trail areas to engage them in nature and the outside environment.
- Residents and staff have led guided hike tours with a local Cub Scout troop and Webelos den pack and their family members throughout our trails and woodlands, as well as spring wildflower walks.
- We have received over 2,400 daffodil bulbs, donated by Dr. John Wiegand of Central Ohio Geriatrics, who has an office at Kendal at Granville. They are planted annually every October, by staff, residents, & resident family members throughout the campus, trails, and woodland areas. The project began as a commemoration to residents that have passed.
Fun facts about trees:
- Trees produce oxygen and reduce carbon (Co2) and greenhouse gasses.
- Deciduous trees act as natural air-conditioners, being the most beneficial for energy savings since they provide shade in the warmer months and let the sunlight shine through in the colder months.
- An urban forest tree canopy contributes to clean air and reduces storm water runoff and erosion.
- Access to trees, green spaces and parks promotes healthy physical activity, reduces stress, and improves the quality of our lives
- Trees provide important habitats for birds, insects, and animal species.
- Communities with healthy stands of trees attract new residents.