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Tawes Garden Accredited by Arbnet Arboretum Program

Tawes GardenThe Helen Avalynne Tawes Garden, located just outside of downtown Annapolis, is now an accredited (Level I) arboretum certified by the international ArbNet program. The garden has met established standards and exercised professional practices important for arboreta and botanic gardens, earning it a spot in The Morton Register of Arboreta.

“This arboretum certification validates the 35 plus years of hard work and dedication of garden supporters to realize the vision of an easily accessible oasis that showcases the diverse natural areas of Maryland,” said Ranger Jay Myers, garden manager.

Often referred to as “Annapolis’ best kept secret,” the Tawes Garden is nestled amid State government office buildings that include the headquarters of the Maryland Department of Natural Resources. It is named in honor of former Maryland First Lady Helen Avalynne who alongside her husband Governor Tawes, served as the State’s gracious hosts from 1959 to 1967.

Emerging from a flat cinder lot in 1975, the five-acre garden has matured into an Annapolis destination with representations of Maryland’s various geographic areas. In addition to ponds and many native plantings, the garden has a “Maryland in miniature” theme, featuring a Western Maryland forest, a streamside environment and an Eastern Shore peninsula. The area is owned by the Maryland Department of General Services and managed by the Maryland Park Service.

Tawes Garden is open daily from dawn till dusk. Admission, guided tours (by reservation) and many programs are free of charge. To learn more about this award-winning sanctuary, or to check out its seasonal e-newsletter featuring the latest nature-related activities and programs, visit To receive the e-newsletter either through the mail or by email, contact the garden office at 410-260-8189 or email

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. Accreditation is based on self-assessment and documentation of an arboretum’s level of achievement of accreditation standards. Standards include planning, governance, labeling of species, staff or volunteer support, public access and programming and tree science, planting and conservation. More information is available at