Sunnyside has been awarded a Level I Accreditation through The ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program and The Morton Arboretum for achieving particular standards of professional practices deemed important for arboreta and botanic gardens. Sunnyside’s resident Green Committee sought the Level I accreditation, the most basic level of accreditation, to highlight the many years of resident and staff efforts to enhance the local habitat.
The ArbNet Accreditation Program is the only global initiative to officially recognize arboreta at various levels of development, capacity, and professionalism. Sunnyside 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 wood plants.
In addition to working with Sunnyside’s administration and grounds team on planting plans and finding ways to eliminate invasive species and add native trees and plants, the Green Committee has placed identifying markers on over 130 trees. To assist residents and visitors on the walking/nature trails, they have created maps and handouts with detailed descriptions of trees and native plants. Both are accessible electronically or via handouts in strategic campus locations. Additionally, there are 35 bluebird nest boxes which are monitored by committee members with data being sent to the Virginia Bluebird Society.