Mies Campus Named a Nationally Accredited Arboretum
Mies Campus Named a
Nationally Accredited Arboretum
By Thaddeus Mast

The nearly 2,000 trees flourishing on Illinois Tech’s Mies Campus offer respite and natural beauty in the midst of Chicago, and a $2 million gift from Alphawood Foundation Chicago will bring the university’s landscape to new heights.

College of Architecture students Jessie Flatley (M.L.A ’22), Erik Schiller (M.ARCH, M.L.A ’22), and Johann Friedl (M.L.A. 5th Year) began searching for a way to celebrate the campus’ canopy with the ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program. Their initial work, under the direction of Professor of Landscape Architecture and Urbanism Ron Henderson, has earned the university a national accreditation and a new name: the Alphawood Arboretum at Illinois Institute of Technology.

“Mies Campus has a landscape personality and character that we want to reinforce,” Henderson says. “This demonstrates the university’s commitment to environmental action, ethics, and integrity.”

Observant Illinois Tech visitors can spy 68 tree species among the university grounds. Alphawood Foundation Chicago’s grant of $2 million will go toward boosting that number to 100.

Mies Campus is the second educational institution in Chicago to be accredited and the first arboretum on Chicago’s South Side. It joins only a handful of Chicago parks, including the Garfield Park Conservatory and Lincoln Park, to receive the designation.