Mesa Community College marked Arbor Day last Friday by planting a salvaged mature native tree in what is now the state’s first arboretum accredited by the global ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program.
Located at MCC’s Southern and Dobson Campus, the 140-acre arboretum is home to thousands of plants from around the world, nearly 100 species of trees and over 80 species of cacti and succulents. The collection largely focuses on native and desert-adapted trees. Visitors can explore it free of charge between 6 a.m. and 10 p.m. with the help of an interactive online map at mesacc.edu/arboretum.
All trees are inventoried in a database and labeled with small ID tags.
Peter Conden, chair of MCC Arboretum’s governing board and director of the MCC Sustainable Agriculture Program, said the accreditation culminates years of work by students and faculty from its Life Sciences and Landscape Horticulture Department.
The arboretum includes the largest rose garden in the Southwest and a four-acre xeriscape demonstration garden created in collaboration with the City of Mesa and the U.S. Bureau of Reclamation.