The 88 acres of landscapes cared for by The Preservation Society of Newport County, including 1,800 trees, have been recognized and accredited as an official arboretum by the Arbnet Arboretum Accreditation program of The Morton Arboretum in Chicago, the only international body that accredits arboreta. 

Accreditation of the Newport Mansions Arboretum recognizes that the Preservation Society meets several important criteria: 

  • an existing collections policy that outlines the care and maintenance of every tree;
  • a professional staff in place to oversee operations;
  • ongoing educational programming related to trees and landscape.

“This milestone puts us in excellent company,” said Preservation Society CEO & Executive Director Trudy Coxe.  “Other recent accreditations have gone to The University of Oxford Botanic Garden, Arlington National Cemetery, and Longwood Gardens, as well as the Newport Tree Society for the Newport Arboretum. Joining that illustrious company is an honor and a testament to the hard work of our staff, and of our partners like Bartlett Tree Experts.”

“Bartlett Tree Experts created a digital inventory of each of the 1,800 trees of 120 different species on our properties.  Each has been identified, GPS-mapped and evaluated, and has its own individual maintenance plan,” said Preservation Society Curator of Historic Landscapes & Gardens Jim Donahue.

 The goal of accreditation is to promote interaction and improved professional practices among arboretum operators. 

The Arbnet Arboretum Accreditation Program is sponsored and coordinated by The Morton Arboretum in cooperation with American Public Gardens Association and Botanic Gardens Conservation International.  This international initiative offers four levels of accreditation, recognizing arboreta of various degrees of development, capacity and professionalism.  Standards include planning, governance, labeling of species, staff or volunteer support, public access and programming and tree science, planting and conservation.  For more information, visit

The Preservation Society of Newport County, Rhode Island, is a non-profit organization accredited by the American Alliance of Museums and dedicated to preserving and interpreting the area’s historic architecture, landscapes, decorative arts and social history.  Its 11 historic properties–seven of them National Historic Landmarks–span more than 250 years of American architectural and social development.

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Ryan Belmore is the Owner and Publisher of What'sUpNewp. 
Belmore has been involved with What’sUpNewp since shortly after its launch in 2012, proudly leading it to be named Best Local News Blog in Rhode Island by Rhode Island Monthly readers in 2018, 2019, and 2020 and an honorable mention in the Common Good Awards in 2021.

Born and raised in Rhode Island, Belmore graduated from Coventry High School and the Community College of Rhode Island. In addition to living in Newport for 10 years, he has lived in Portsmouth, Coventry, Providence, Smithfield, Burrillville, and East Greenwich.

Belmore currently serves as Vice President of the Board Of Directors for Fort Adams Trust and on the Board of Directors for Potter League For Animals. He previously served on the Board of Lucy's Hearth and the Arts & Cultural Alliance for Newport County.

Belmore and his wife, Jen, currently live in Alexandria, Virginia, a move they made in 2021. Read more about that here -

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In 2020, Belmore was named Member of the Year by LION and won the Arts & Cultural Alliance of Newport County's Dominque Award.
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