Bellefontaine Cemetery and Arboretum has been upgraded to a Level III Accreditation by the ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program.
ST. LOUIS, MO, September 27, 2022 – Bellefontaine Cemetery and Arboretum has been upgraded to a Level III Accreditation by the ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program. This designation is for achieving particular standards of professional practices deemed necessary within the arboreta community. The ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program is the only global initiative to officially recognize arboreta at various levels of development, capacity, and professionalism.
“This is exciting news,” said Bellefontaine Cemetery Association President and CEO Sherry L. Smith. “With over 500 accredited arboreta, Bellefontaine Cemetery and Arboretum is thrilled to be among 44 recognized at the Level III status. This distinction is wonderful for our community, city, and country.”
The organization recognizes that establishing exceptional land management practices and living collections standards that add environmental benefits to the community and enriches the visitor experience for guests and families of the Cemetery. Along with the Level III Arboreta status, Bellefontaine Cemetery is on the National Registry of Historic Places. It is an important birdwatching site and a historic Civil War Site. Certified by the Green Burial Council, the Cemetery offers the region's highest level of green burial options. Bellefontaine Cemetery is a member of American Public Gardens, Botanical Garden Conservation International, Missouri Prairie Foundation/ Grow Native, Missouri Green Industry Alliance, the American Daffodil Society, and the Global Conservation Consortium for Oak.
The organization offers free horticultural and historic educational programming, including lectures, tours, and opportunities for grade school-level children through adulthood to participate in various educational experiences. The Director of Horticulture and Director of Living Collections, Michael Garrett, is responsible for many of the horticulture programs and maintaining a carefully cataloged tree and woody plant species inventory that spans over 9,500 individual specimens representing 560 unique plant taxa. Bellefontaine Cemetery boasts many garden areas and a 1.3-mile walking/hiking trail traversing the inner Cemetery from the Willow Gatehouse to the historic Hotchkiss Chapel. This trail offers both historical content and horticulture elements. Other trails will be added to the grounds and open to the public in 2023.
The Cemetery’s 314 acres offer 14 miles of roadways to explore by foot, car, bicycle, or one of its many trolley excursions. Open to all, Bellefontaine Cemetery encourages visitors to stop by the office to pick up one of the many self-guided tour maps and enjoy the grounds.
For more information or to sign up for a guided specialty tour, please visit Bellefontaine Cemetery and Arboretum online at bellefontainecemetery.org.
About Bellefontaine Cemetery
Bellefontaine Cemetery is a nonprofit, non-sectarian cemetery and arboretum in St. Louis, Missouri. Founded in 1849 as a rural cemetery, the Cemetery is home to many architecturally significant monuments and mausoleums, such as the Louis Sullivan-designed Wainwright Tomb, listed on the National Register of Historic Places. The Cemetery contains 314 acres (1.27 km2) of land and over 87,000 graves, including William Clark, Adolphus Busch, Irma Rombauer, Virginia Minor, Thomas Hart Benton, Rev. John Berry Meachum, Susan Blow, and William S. Burroughs. Many Union and Confederate soldiers from the American Civil War are buried at Bellefontaine Cemetery and numerous local and state politicians. Facebook: /BellefontaineCemetery Instagram: @bellefontainecemetery.