Tai Soo Kim, a neighbor of the Park, made a large donation to the Conservancy that has permitted the recent planting of 70 new trees of various kinds, adding to the already significant collection of trees in Elizabeth Park.

“Seeing a large tree lifts people’s spirits,” said Tai Soo Kim, and “as I walk in the morning and see the trees greening, it is the most satisfying donation I have made.”  The Conservancy will honor Mr. Kim’s donation and Elizabeth Park’s recently awarded Arboretum status by caring for and educating the public about the wonderful collection of trees in The Kim Arboretum at Elizabeth Park.  

On May 17, 2019, the ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program and the Morton Arboretum in Lisle Illinois awarded Elizabeth Park accredited Arboretum status as a Level 1 Arboretum. The Conservancy applied for Arboretum status for Elizabeth Park in order to obtain recognition of the wonderful collection of trees and woody plants in Elizabeth Park, as recently supplemented by the Kim donation. Requirements for accreditation as an Arboretum include labeling trees and educating the public about trees. Kim’s donation also supports the labeling of significant trees for the education of the public.

The trees of Elizabeth Park are no mere backdrop to the gardens of Elizabeth Park, although Elizabeth Park is known mainly for its gardens, particularly its historic Rose Garden.  Many of the trees are old, historic and unusual, and some are designated “Connecticut State Champions” by the Connecticut Botanical Society. 

Among the tree species in Elizabeth Park are white oak, pin oak, shagbark hickory, Katsura, European hornbeam, weeping blue spruce and weeping European beach. The oldest trees in the Park are the oaks. Click HERE to view an inventory of trees done in 2016 by Bartlett Tree Experts.

In addition, Elizabeth Park has an impressive array of old rhododendron. Elizabeth Park was formerly the estate of Charles Pond, who left the property to the City of Hartford in his will, to be named after his wife Elizabeth. The Park has been open to the public since 1897. 

The Conservancy is a nonprofit organization founded in 1977 to assist the City of Hartford in caring for Elizabeth Park. The mission of the Conservancy is to maintain, preserve, restore and promote Elizabeth Park, with the Rose Garden as its centerpiece, as a regional horticultural park for the education, enjoyment, and appreciation of the Park by current and future generations.

The ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program is the only global initiative to officially recognize arboreta at various levels of development, capacity, and professionalism. Elizabeth Park, a public park of the City of Hartford, is now recognized as an accredited arboretum in the Morton Register of Arboreta, a database of the world’s arboreta and gardens dedicated to woody plants.

ArbNet facilitates the sharing of knowledge, experience, and other resources to help arboreta meet their institutional goals and works to raise professional standards through the ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program. The accreditation program is sponsored and coordinated by the Morton Arboretum in Lisle, Illinois.