Louise W. Moore Park Awarded Arboretum Accreditation

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Northampton County Executive Lamont G. McClure and the Division of Parks & Recreation are pleased to announce that Louise W. Moore County Park, located in Bethlehem Township and Lower Nazareth Township, has been awarded Level I 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.

The 120-acre Louise W. Moore County Park has over 100 various species of trees and shrubs from around the world, mostly located within the 90-acre portion of the park on the west side of Country Club Road. Established in 1976, the park has over 3 miles of walking trails, rental pavilions, playgrounds, tennis, and pickleball courts.

Highlights of the park include:

  • The park arboretum was designed by the famous George E. Patton & Associates, the most prolific landscape architectural firm of twentieth-century Philadelphia, whose work includes the campuses of the University of Pennsylvania, Swarthmore College, Thomas Jefferson University Hospital, and both the main campus and the Ambler campus of Temple University. 
  • George E. Patton & Associates revised arboretum plan for Louise Moore Park from 1979, which is in the park archives, included 300 major and minor tree species from North America, Asia, and Europe, as well as 26 acres of wildflower meadows to be planted at the park. While as-built arboretum plans are not known to exist, many dozens of exemplary specimens of mature trees and shrubs from these three continents can be found thriving today in our Arboretum for public enjoyment and appreciation of this global diversity of plant life at Louise Moore Park.
  • To commemorate the 1987 bicentennial of the signing of the U.S. Constitution, seven eastern hemlocks – the state tree of Pennsylvania – are planted and commemorated with a bronze plaque mounted on a large native limestone boulder by the Northampton County U.S. Constitution Bicentennial Commission of 1987.
  • In 2019, a seven-acre stand of oak trees hundreds of years old and of enormous size are located in the far south end of the Louise Moore Park Arboretum. This stand of giant red and white oaks is called Matson’s Woods and was inducted into the Old Growth Forest Network in 2019. This rare community of old-growth forest is a magnificent part of the Arboretum.
  • In 2021, 46 grafted nut trees from the historical John Hershey Nut & Edible Fruit Tree Nursery & Farm in Downingtown, PA, are part of the collection. In partnership with the North American Nut Growers Association for agriculturists, foresters, climate specialists, soil scientists, cultural resource professionals, and the public, they established the relocation of these trees to the park. John Russel Smith, the father of agroforestry and the author of the 1929 book, “Tree Crops: A Permanent Agriculture” called the Hershey Nursery, “America’s No. 1 Tree Crop Farm.
  • In 2024, Northampton County partnered with Bethlehem Area Vo-Technical School students to develop permanent tree guards surrounding the Hershey Nursery Trees.
  • Throughout the upcoming months and years, Northampton County will continue to partner with local, state, and federal agencies, non-profits, and educational establishments to promote education and research for public outreach and tours.

“The establishment of Louise W. Moore County Park as an arboretum solidifies the decades of individuals and groups to establish a unique public park encompassing such a variety of trees. From the initial development of the park to the preservation of the oak stand and the new repository of the agroforestry areas, this area becomes more than just a park but a place for future preservation, research, and public educational opportunities,” said Bryan S. Cope, Superintendent of Parks & Recreation.

Northampton County’s Parks, Trails, and Open Space system consists of 22 county-owned parks, trails, and conservation lands that highlight ridges, rivers, forests, and farmlands. The Parks & Recreation Division is responsible for the maintenance, management, improvement, and development of the County’s 2,364-acre park system. Our parks offer active and passive recreation while combining conservation and wildlife management practices. Public outreach is a priority in our steps to develop and deliver community outdoor recreation and environmental education programs to educate, develop, and implement conservation projects in our County Parks.

About ArbNet

ArbNet is an interactive, collaborative, international community of arboreta. ArbNet facilitates the sharing of knowledge, experience, and other resources to help arboreta meet their institutional goals and works to raise professional standards through the ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program. The accreditation program, sponsored and coordinated by The Morton Arboretum in Lisle, Illinois, in cooperation with the American Public Gardens Association and Botanic Gardens Conservation International, is the only global initiative to officially recognize arboreta based on a set of professional standards. The program offers four levels of accreditation, recognizing arboreta of various degrees of development, capacity, and professionalism. Standards include planning, governance, public access, programming and tree science, planting, and conservation. More information is available at www.arbnet.org.

Information provided to TVL by:
County of Northampton
669 Washington Street
Easton, PA 18042