Why Crown Hill became an Arboretum

Part of the mission of the Crown Hill Foundation is to preserve the natural heritage of the cemetery. A big part of that heritage is the landscape and the trees. Crown Hill is the largest canopy of trees inside the city of Indianapolis and provides many ecological benefits.

By becoming an accredited arboretum, we are being intentional in the care, conservation and enhancement of our tree collection. In addition to this, we are committed to the education and engagement around trees and our natural environment.

The Crown Hill Arboretum offers 555 acres of natural beauty, 25 miles of paved roads providing access to tree collections, and more than 10,000 trees representing more than 130 unique species.

The ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program is the only global initiative to officially recognize arboreta at various levels of development, capacity and professionalism. The Crown Hill Arboretum 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. As Crown Hill’s Arboretum Director Carrie Tauscher explained, achieving a Level II status requires the site to have at least 100 species of trees or woody plants (Crown Hill has over 130) as well as an arborist on staff who plans continued development and management along with enhanced programming for the public focused on trees and the natural environment.

The roots of the arboretum project reach back to 2003, when the Purdue University Department of Forestry and the Indiana Department of Natural Resources (DNR) identified and marked more than 4,000 trees and 130 species on the grounds.