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The Robert A. Winters Arboretum

A Hidden Gem: Exploring Meadow Lakes’ Level 2 Accredited Arboretum

Have you ever heard of a “zoo for trees”? Well, look no further than Meadow Lakes, a beautifully scenic senior living community boasting an internationally registered arboretum in East Windsor, New Jersey with an impressive Level 2 accreditation. Formally known as The Robert A. Winters Arboretum, we will explore how this stunning campus meets specific standards in terms of its collection, policies, and educational offerings, making it a truly remarkable feature of the senior living community.

Come along as we delve into the fascinating world of the Meadow Lake’s Arboretum, exploring its unique characteristics, diverse plant life, and dedication to preserving and showcasing the true beauty of nature. Get ready to discover the hidden gem that sets Meadow Lakes apart.

A Walk Through the Meadow Lakes ArboretumArboretum trees in the fall

Imagine strolling through a meticulously maintained landscape teeming with over 400 tree species from around the world. Picture yourself surrounded by the vibrant colors of spring flowers, the calming sound of birdsong, and the gentle rustle of leaves in the breeze. This isn’t just a scene from a dream; it’s a reality for residents of Meadow Lakes, thanks to the community’s Level 2 accredited arboretum.

What Is an Accredited Arboretum?

When talking with Joe Greipp, Arboretum Director, about what sets the Meadow Lakes Arboretum above the rest, he was proud to inform that the campus holds a level 2 accreditation status from ArbNet, an international network of tree-focused professionals that is sponsored by the Morton Arboretum in collaboration with the American Public Gardens Association and Botanic Gardens Conservation International.

There are four levels of accreditation that an arboretum can receive: 1 being the lowest ranking and 4 being the highest. So what makes Robert A. Winters Arboretum at Meadow Lakes a level 2? Well, it has to have more than 100 tree species on the property, and as we noted earlier, Meadow Lakes has over 400! There also has to be a paid management team in addition to volunteers to help with upkeep. Lastly, the arboretum has to provide public educational and programming opportunities such as tree identification, ecology, conservation, etc. as well as documentation of each type of tree species in the collection.

Unveiling the Arboretum’s Treasures:

With over 60 years of history and a commitment to sustainable practices, this accredited arboretum in New Jersey offers a unique and enriching experience for residents and visitors alike. As we begin to explore the serene experience that the campus of Meadow Lakes offers, we invite you to immerse yourself into this grounding sensation that provides both peace and calming to all who are exposed.

  • A Diverse Collection: As Joe Greipp, the Arboretum Director, explains, “We have over 400 species of trees, with close to 6,000 trees in total. This incredible variety creates a vibrant tapestry of nature, offering residents a chance to connect with the beauty and diversity of the plant world.”Ducks walking through the Arboretum
  • A Haven for Wildlife: Beyond the trees, the arboretum is a haven for various wildlife species. “The arboretum provides a habitat for migrating birds, and we even have beekeeping on the property,” says Joe. This diverse ecosystem fosters a sense of peace and tranquility for residents and contributes to the overall ecological balance of the community. As you are walking through the arboretum, you may see a mother duck with her ducklings walking along the lake along with black and white swans. One of our favorite sights to see are the goldfish that love to swim under the shade provided by the trees. 
  • Sustainability in Action: Meadow Lakes prioritizes sustainable practices within the arboretum. The grounds department utilizes natural-based fertilizers, and the team employs innovative methods to preserve the trees, such as placing rods in older trees to provide structural support and installing lightning rods on the tallest trees for protection.

More Than Just a Pretty View

The arboretum goes beyond offering a beautiful landscape. It serves as a valuable resource for the community and fosters a sense of connection and engagement.

  • Educational Opportunities: Meadow Lakes offers monthly tours led by Joe himself, providing residents and interested visitors with a chance to learn about the different species, the arboretum’s history, and its significance.
  • Community Engagement: The arboretum serves as a platform for community outreach. “We provide training for arborists and host career fairs for school kids, inspiring the next generation to appreciate and care for the environment,” says Joe. The arboretum occasionally holds tree climbing competitions for the State Chapter of the International Society of Arboriculture. In the photo to the right you will see a picture of Bert Kuhn, the current state chapter president who gets to represent our state of New Jersey at the international competition.
  • Resident Testimonials: Residents consistently praise the arboretum. A current resident, Suzanne Orenstein stated, “I came to Meadow Lakes as a resident after 41 years working on environmental issues with various federal and state agencies. The natural environment that is preserved on the grounds of Meadow Lakes was a major draw for me.” The Arboretum director, Joe, described his experience working at the Arboretum as “something grounding about it. It reminds me of an institution with a beautiful landscape that has been around for over 60 years.”

Whether a nature enthusiast, a lifelong learner, or simply seeking a peaceful escape, the arboretum offers something for every resident at Meadow Lakes. 

The Meadow Lakes Accredited Arboretum in NJ Awaits

If you’re interested in exploring this unique gem and everything else Meadow Lakes has to offer seniors looking to enhance their retirement years, contact our team at Meadow Lakes to schedule a visit so you can see the space for yourself! Witness the beauty of the arboretum firsthand and discover a place where nature thrives, and residents find peace, connection, and a sense of grounding.

In addition to the spectacular views that Meadow Lakes visitors and residents get to experience each day, this vibrant senior living community promotes mind, body, and spirit enrichment with a maintenance-free lifestyle and a seamless continuum of support as needs begin to change over time. You’ll have peace of mind knowing there is security in your future. With multiple apartment and cottage options, we’re sure you’ll feel right at home. Contact us today to schedule a visit. 

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meadow lakes exterior photo at sunset

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