HPLM’s Spiegel Grove officially designated an arboretum

Press Staff Writer

        With its more than 1,700 trees, Spiegel Grove, the grounds of the Hayes Presidential Library & Museums in Fremont, has been designated as an arboretum.
        Spiegel Grove will be listed on a database of the world’s arboreta and gardens, making it easier to find and more visible to those specifically interested in trees and flora and fauna.
        “We are so excited to have the beautiful grounds of Spiegel Grove designated as an arboretum,” said Christie Weininger, executive director of Hayes Presidential. “This has been about a year in the works. Our visitors are so passionate about the grounds, as are we. Spiegel Grove is a social place, it’s a serene place. It’s a place to play, sit quietly, or walk your dog.”
        Due to the concern of a surge in COVID-19 cases in the next two weeks and in an effort to reduce crowding, Hayes Presidential has temporarily closed Spiegel Grove, including the grounds. This step was taken on the advice of the City of Fremont and the Sandusky County Health Department.
        The 25-acre site has more than 90 species of trees, some of which date back to President Rutherford B. Hayes’ time on the estate and even earlier. Varieties include chestnut, oak, holly, ginko, various pines and more. A seedling of the Oklahoma City bombing Survivor Tree also has been planted and is thriving on the property.
        “This a great way to recognize one of our unique assets,” Weininger said. “Now that we have the designation, our plan is to create more nature related programming for students and the general public.”
        President Hayes and First Lady Lucy Hayes loved nature and planted trees around the grove. They named trees on the property after distinguished people and would have ceremonies where the person being honored would place his hands on the tree. The couple’s children continued the tradition.
        Hayes Presidential was recently awarded the level 1 accreditation by The ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program and The Morton Arboretum for achieving particular standards of professional practices deemed important for arboreta and botanic gardens. Level 1 arboreta have fewer than 100 species of trees. Spiegel Grove is close to reaching Level 2 status, which is for 100 and more species.
        The ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program is the only global initiative to officially recognize arboreta at various levels of development, capacity and professionalism.
        Hayes Presidential 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.
        The Hayes Presidential Library & Museums is located at Spiegel Grove at the corner of Hayes and Buckland avenues. America’s first presidential library and the forerunner for the federal presidential library system, it is partially funded by the state of Ohio and affiliated with the Ohio History Connection.
        For information, call 419-332-2081, or visit rbhayes.org. Like Hayes Presidential on Facebook at @rbhayespres and follow on Twitter and Instagram at @rbhayespres.


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