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Minnesota Landscape Arboretum Receives Highest National Recognition

Arboretum national recognition

The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum has achieved accreditation by the American Alliance of Museums (AAM), the highest national recognition afforded the nation’s museums. Accreditation signifies excellence to the museum community, to governments, funders, outside agencies and to the museum-going public.

Alliance Accreditation brings national recognition to a museum for its commitment to excellence, accountability, high professional standards and continued institutional improvement. Developed and sustained by museum professionals for over 45 years, the Alliance’s museum accreditation program is the field’s primary vehicle for quality assurance, self-regulation and public accountability. It strengthens the museum profession by promoting practices that enable leaders to make informed decisions, allocate resources wisely, and remain financially and ethically accountable in order to provide the best possible service to the public.

“We are dedicated to excellence and this award affirms our commitment to welcoming, inspiring and delighting the community we serve,” Arboretum Director Peter Moe said. “Only a few public gardens in the U.S. have achieved AAM accreditation and this is a major honor for the Arboretum,” he said. “For example, our two summer exhibitions, Amazing Spaces: Re-Imagining Treehouses and Gardens of Kaleidescopes are incredible in their appeal to and discovery for visitors, as well as our well-known gardens and collections, which won 2017 Best Botanical Garden in the USA Reader’s Choice Contest earlier this year,” Moe said.

Of the nation’s estimated 33,000 museums, more than 1000 are currently accredited. The Arboretumis one of 21 accredited museums in Minnesota, including Mia, the Walker Art Center and the Minnesota Historical Society. Only 3 percent of arboretums and botanical gardens are fully accredited in the U.S. This spring, the Arboretum was named 2017 Best Botanical Garden in the U.S. by USA Today’s Reader Choice Awards.

Accreditation is a very rigorous but highly rewarding process that examines all aspects of a museum’s operations. To earn accreditation a museum first must conduct a year of self-study, and then undergo a site visit by a team of peer reviewers. The Alliance’s Accreditation Commission, an independent and autonomous body of museum professionals, considers the self-study and visiting committee report to determine whether a museum should receive accreditation.

“Accredited museums are a community of institutions that have chosen to hold themselves publicly accountable to excellence,” said Laura L. Lott, Alliance president and CEO. “Accreditation is clearly a significant achievement, of which both the institutions and the communities they serve can be extremely proud.”

About the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum
The Minnesota Landscape Arboretum is part of the University of Minnesota College of Food, Agricultural and Natural Resource Science and will celebrate its 60th year in 2018. Our mission: To welcome, inform and inspire all through outstanding displays, protected natural areas, horticultural research and education. Hours are 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. daily, gate admission is $15 for visitors 16 years up, free for those under 15. The Arboretum is located at 3675 Arboretum Drive, Chaska, Mn. 55318. For more information, call 952-443-1400 or visit arboretum.umn.edu.

About the American Alliance of Museums
The American Alliance of Museums has been bringing museums together since 1906, helping to develop standards and best practices, gathering and sharing knowledge, and providing advocacy on issues of concern to the entire museum community. Representing more than 35,000 individual museum professionals and volunteers, institutions and corporate partners serving the museum field, the Alliance is the only organization representing the entire scope of the broad museum community. For more information, visit aam-us.org.

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