Kendal at Crosslands Arboretum Report

Kendal at Crosslands Arboretum Report


The following report was presented at the December 12th SSAFE General Committee meeting by Ben James, Vice-Chair of SSAFE from Kendal at Crosslands.

Kendal Crosslands Communities Arboretum Report for SSAFE Meeting, 2 Dec 12

1. Introduction
Kendal at Longwood and Crosslands are sister continuing care communities located back-¬to-¬back in southern Chester County, near Longwood Gardens between Chadds Ford and Kennett Square, PA. More than 500 residents live independently in cottages and apartments with personal care and skilled nursing available on each campus. Activities are organized by resident committees which plan numerous programs including lectures, concerts, and trips, as well as the maintenance of several community gardens.

2. How was the Kendal Crosslands Arboretum Established?
Nine years ago, the idea of accrediting the Kendal/Crosslands campus was just a gleam in the eyes of six residents who believed that we should celebrate the trees on our combined campus. As a result of their labors, in February 2013, the Kendal Crosslands Arboretum (KCA) received recognition by the Arbnet Arboretum Accreditation Program of the Morton Arboretum in Lisle, Illinois. The Kendal Crosslands Arboretum is believed to be one of the first continuing care communities to be so designated. In February 2018, the KCA was accredited as a Level II Arboretum making it only the second Level II CCRC listed on the Arbnet Register.

3. Info about KCA
We recently contracted for an inventory of trees in our Arboretum and found we have more than 2400 trees and more than 60 species. Trails traversing mature woodland and a stream link the two sections of the 500-acre combined campus. Within the combined 300 landscaped acres, more than 400 trees have display tags with their common and scientific names. Seven loop walks feature more than 200 trees that are easily accessible from roads and hard ¬surface pathways to accommodate residents with walkers and wheelchairs. Maps, tree lists, and descriptions of the trees are available at the reception desks on each campus. Residents are further involved with an Adopt-A-Tree program where approximately 90 residents monitor our significant trees (those on the Loop Walks) for damage (storms, lawn mowers, insect infestation) and spring/fall checkups. Also, we have a Gift Tree Program where more than 40 residents/families have donated trees to the Arboretum in memory of loved ones.

4. Strategic Plans
In 2019 a team of KCA members + staff was selected to create a strategic plan for our arboretum. The plan had seven goals which we pursued. Two years later we have met the most essential goals and recognized that some of our goals really exceeded our resources or capabilities.
Accordingly, we have moved on to a second Strategic Plan which we are in the process of formulating. Key goals include addressing climate change. Two members of our Arboretum attended a Zoom course given by the US Dept of Agriculture where various climate trends and impacts were discussed with respect to many US Climate zones including the mid-Atlantic where we reside. Under the course leaders’ guidance, we created a climate change adaptation plan that we think makes sense for our ecological niche and we have been discussing these ideas with our grounds staff. There are too many aspects of this plan to address here, but it required us address such issues as the different threats climate change presents us (temperatures, rainfall, increase of diseases and pests, etc) and contemplate how we might adapt to them. We are also researching species of trees to recommend as replacement trees as our most vulnerable succumb bearing in mind the need for diversity, using native plants, hardiness, disease resistance, drought tolerance, etc.

Crosslands campus representative Ben James is willing to pass on questions to members of the Arboretum Committee who can then connect directly to you for answers and follow-up. Contact us to reach Ben James.

Download a printable PDF file of this report here.

Download a PDF of the PowerPoint slide presentation here.