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Posted on: April 3, 2019

Cane Creek Park and City Lake Natural Areas both certified as arboretum

A sassafras tree is labeled at Cane Creek Park.

COOKEVILLE – Something special awaits trail users at Cane Creek Park and City Lake Natural Area – something that will improve their ability to identify native trees.

Sycamore, Red Maple, American Beech, Eastern Redcedar and dozens more have been tagged with small black labels as part of each parks’ certification as an arboretum by the Tennessee Urban Forestry Council.

“The word arboretum means a botanical collection of trees,” City of Cookeville urban forester Jaime Nunan said.

Both parks received Level 1 arboretum certification in late 2018, meaning each has at least 30 different species of native trees labeled.

Jill Smith, TUFC arboretum certification coordinator, said, “Having two certified Level 1 arboreta is a wonderful accomplishment for the city of Cookeville and for the state of Tennessee. Visitors for years to come will have an opportunity to learn about trees, enjoy their beauty and appreciate their many differences.”

Cane Creek Park has 35 trees on its arboretum list, most of which can be found along the main walking trail around the lake. City Lake Natural Area has 30 labeled trees. The labels include the trees’ common and scientific names as well as a QR code for more information.

Nunan hopes the arboretum certifications will bring more awareness of Cookeville’s native trees.

“I’m really excited,” she said. “Having native species labeled in our parks helps to educate our citizens on tree identification, creates educational opportunities for students to visit parks and can also help everyone become more familiar with our local native species for when they are deciding on a new tree for their home.”

For more information, call Cookeville Leisure Services at 931-520-4386.

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