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Crystal Bridges Earns Arboretum Accreditation, Marking Significant Achievement for the Museum and Its Magnificent Ozark Landscape

Institution to commemorate milestone with Arbor Day Celebration

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BENTONVILLE, Ark. Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art today announced that its campus, which sits on 120-acres of Ozark Forest in Bentonville, Arkansas, has been awarded Level I Accreditation by the ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program. The stunning arboretum at Crystal Bridges is defined by areas of native, managed forest, flowering and specimen trees, and display gardens well-known for joyful spring displays of dogwoods, redbuds, and magnolias. Crystal Bridges is the only museum in Arkansas that’s also an arboretum.  


 “We are so proud of our Trails and Grounds team – and our entire team here at Crystal Bridges – who have all played such a huge role in achieving this honor,” said Samantha Best, the museum’s landscape and outdoor experience manager. “This accomplishment helps make the statement that we value our beautiful forest and landscape, and that we are committed to the stewardship of this valuable community resource. We are thrilled to stand out as a leading destination for nature enthusiasts and adventurers in Northwest Arkansas – it is truly an honor.” 


The Ozark Forest at Crystal Bridges is a great place to see many species of large oaks, hickories, beech trees, ashes, walnuts, and mature tulip trees. Home to the Arkansas State Champion Pinus strobus (White Pine), the arboretum includes five miles of trails and 33 outdoor sculptures. The land is free and open to the public every day between sunrise and sunset.   


The museum will celebrate its newly acquired arboretum status with an Arbor Day Celebration on Saturday, April 27, from 1 to 4 p.m. Guests will have the opportunity to engage in nature-themed activities, like creating a bee bath on Walker Landing, crafting tree-inspired works in Durand and Estes studios, and chatting with Hobbs State Park Ranger Jay Schneider in The Studio. There will also be a tree sapling giveaway at the museum entrance while supplies last. 


The ArbNet Accreditation Program acknowledges communities and organizations that achieve excellence in arboreal practices, emphasizing their commitment to conserving ecosystems. It is the only international accreditation program and works to set the standard for the arboretum community and for forest preservation practices.  


Crystal Bridges currently holds the title as a Level I Arboretum, which means the grounds have at least 25 species of woody plants, a group of employees who tend to the grounds and take care of the trees and ecosystem, a governing body, and an arboretum plan. 


For more information about the nature and trails at Crystal Bridges, visit the museum’s website.


About Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art

The mission of Crystal Bridges Museum of American Art is to welcome all to celebrate the American spirit in a setting that unites the power of art with the beauty of nature. Since opening in 2011, the museum has welcomed more than 12.2 million visitors across its spaces, with no cost for admission. Crystal Bridges was founded in 2005 as a non-profit charitable organization by arts patron and philanthropist, Alice Walton. The collection spans five centuries of American masterworks from early American to current day and is enhanced by temporary exhibitions. The museum is nestled on 120 acres of Ozark landscape and was designed by world-renowned architect Moshe Safdie. A rare Frank Lloyd Wright-designed house was preserved and relocated to the museum grounds in 2015. Crystal Bridges offers public programs  including lectures, performances, classes, and teacher development opportunities. Some 418,375 school children have participated in the Willard and Pat Walker School Visit program, which provides educational experiences for school groups at no cost to the schools. Additional museum amenities include a restaurant, gift store, library, and five miles of art and walking trails. In February 2020, the museum opened the Momentary in Downtown Bentonville (507 SE E Street), conceived as a platform for the art, food, and music of our time. In 2026, Crystal Bridges will complete a nearly 100,000 square foot expansion that will allow the museum to expand access for all. For more information, visit The museum is located at 600 Museum Way, Bentonville, Arkansas 72712.

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