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The Edna Guenther digital arboretum will be a meeting place for students, environmentalist and plant enthusiast. The arboretum seeks to collect the data from mapped plants worldwide and present the information in a single location. The arboretum focuses on the collection of trees planted in memory of loved ones.

The arboretum's mission is to serve as a living, learning laboratory that promotes love and knowledge of horticulture, understanding of the relationship between people and the environment, and awareness of both the need for and means to achieve greater environmental responsibility. The Arboretum is committed to celebrating the achievements of those that have come before us and laid the ground work for current progress.

Edna Guenther was born on July 8th 1912 and died on November 27th 1994. Edna began her 32 year career in 1942 as one of the first female Philadelphia trolley drivers. As a single mother, she adopted 5 children during the "Wake up little Suzy" period of abortion and adoption and raised a family of seven on her own. One of these adoptions brought my mother into Edna's world. After raising 7 children and retiring from the Philadelphia Trolley Company Edna worked in greenhouses and flower shops for an additional 9 years. During this time she visited my mother and I and taught me the love of horticulture.

The arboretum is dedicated to remembering the small and large contributions of our mothers, fathers, aunts, uncles, friends and extended family whether blood related or connected in heart. The people who have come before us may have done ordinary things which have made an extraordinary impact on our lives.

In this digital day and age, information is available at the touch of a key. The Edna Guenther Digital Arboretum is in the process of helping arboretums move into the digital age. Not only will this arboretum help inventory campuses and arboretums but also help visitors world wide remember their loved ones.

Please consider mapping your trees and memorial plantings with us. Data can be accepted in a variety of formats. Feel free to contact us for help or additional information.


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The History of International Tree Registry

International Tree Registry is fast becoming the model for plant mapping, offering its online digital arboretum services to everyone-for FREE. International Tree Registry allows anyone to identify, input and catalog their plants or trees; upload photos of plants; receive help identifying them and establish a memorial or honorary tree in the name of a loved one. However, International Tree Registry had somewhat humble roots…

Founder James Taylor began the project in honor of his grandmother, Edna Guenther. Born in 1912, Ms. Guenther began a 32-year career in 1942 as one of Philadelphia's first female trolley drivers. A single mother, she adopted five children during the "Wake up little Suzy" period of abortion and adoption, raising a family of seven on her own. One of these adoptions brought Taylor's mother into Edna's caring world. After raising seven kids and retiring from the Philadelphia Trolley Company Edna followed one of her true loves: she began working in greenhouses and flower shops for nearly a decade. During this time she would often visit Taylor and his mother, instilling in him a love of horticulture at an early age.

This love for trees grew: Taylor grew up on a city block where trees were continually being removed-but not replaced. He was inspired by trees' inherit nature of giving so much and asking for so little. (This passion would later be reflected in the challenge that renowned writer Jared Diamond posed in 2005's Collapse: for each of us to connect to the environment as a means of helping society survive into the future.)

By his high school graduation this interest had grown into full-fledged commitment. Taylor enrolled in Temple University as a Landscape Architecture undergrad, and worked to develop an effective method allowing non-technical individuals to map and identify plants. However, in 1999 this proved to be a difficult task.

With the development of the internet it became clear to Taylor that the best solution to this challenge was a web-based product. For the next two years, he gathered data on current mapping trends and solutions. However, Taylor found no web-enabled systems-and the only systems available required highly-technical skill sets and substantial fiscal resources. Instead, Taylor set out to create his own.

After graduating in 2002 with a BS in Landscape Architecture, Taylor was hired as a tech-savvy landscape architect understudy in a small residential landscape architecture office. After four years of working with advanced mapping software, he used this knowledge to develop a working prototype of International Tree Registry. After completing his prototype, Taylor received recommendations for further changes from his new coworkers, at an international software company located in Philadelphia. These suggestions were critical, and now his dream was within sight: their suggestions influenced how International Tree Registry would develop and created its defining architecture.

In 2006, Ms. Eva Monheim, a Temple University professor, further supported the development of International Tree Registry. She enlisted her "Woody Plants" class as a case study for data gathering, which provided valuable feedback: many students participated in the case study and provided needed assistance. The students found that they enjoyed giving back to the campus by working hands-on to map and identify the campus' many trees.

In 2007, still passionate about plants and technology, Taylor revised the prototype in his classes in Widener University's Graduate School. In a tribute to his grandmother, he built an online digital arboretum using the now fully-developed International Tree Registry tool. In 2008, I.T.4Trees was formed to hold intellectual property rights for the prototype and future development of the product. The company found an Oklahoma-based advanced GIS and web development partner that would allow International Tree Registry to realize its vision: launching live on the worldwide web.

Taylor completed a Master's of Information Systems degree in 2008 and began post-graduate work in New York's Pace University Seidenburg's School of Computing Science in pursuit of the Doctor of Professional Studies in Computing. His continued research in plant identification will no doubt provide International Tree Registry with improved identification techniques.

Taylor currently works at a Fortune 50 international telecommunications company, studying the latest industry technology. International Tree Registry launched its first online version on August 14th, 2008. A second version was released in December 2008 and a third release is slated for April 2009.

Today, Internationaltreeregistry.com is a web application accessible from any internet-enabled PC, is able to run on cellular phones and helps users map plants from across the globe. The software stores data in a number of fields to help users and organizations track their plants and trees' characteristics, growth and development. International Tree Registry is FREE to use for all, and is helpful for mapping memorial, campus, residential, and street trees and plants.

Some Information About Our Project

We are committed to helping the world map one plant at a time. We have created tools and methods to let everyone—regardless of skill—map plants in their favorite park, campus, or even their own backyard. Our philosophy is based on the concept of "One." We firmly believe that every goal begins with just one individual and slowly gains support and enthusiasm.

Our web application is the one-stop place for mapping plants and trees. We do not distribute software. Instead, we run the latest installations on our server: everyone benefits from current updates and everyone else’s efforts and knowledge—all with minimal IT involvement—and all for FREE! We maintain one horticulture-naming database, one catalog database, and one world map, all to help one empowered individual map plants and trees one at a time.

How it Works

Our current system utilizes Google Earth, webforms, MYSQL and standard coding to display data. We use the most cutting-edge technology to benefit from tried-and-true industry programming. Internationaltreeregistry.com focuses on the user experience: we are confident that if our software is easy to navigate, use, and deploy around the world—we can, and will, make a huge difference.

We have developed a point-and-click method for locating plants on a map via Google Earth’s longitude & latitude system. International Tree Registry is built to work on a cellular phone: with a cell phone data plan you can update your plant database and size records with the touch of a button—all while roaming outdoors!

Visit our site at Internationaltreeregistry.com to learn just how easy mapping plants can be.

Our Mission

Internationaltreeregistry.com is a collaboration of researchers, programmers, environmental enthusiasts, artists and business owners working to make technology improve our overall quality of life. By focusing on one motivated employee or volunteer, Internationaltreeregistry.com is committed to helping empowered organizations and individuals worldwide map and learn more about plants and trees.

Around the world, people, organizations and governments are joining together to make our homes greener and our earth cleaner. At I.T. 4 Trees we are committed to helping citizens reconnect with plants and trees—and in the process, reconnect with nature.

It is our goal to map 500,000 trees worldwide over the next five years. Additionally, we are committed to having thousands of trees planted in memory or honor of someone—and listed on our site—so that the world may share in celebration of that person’s life. We are passionate about having volunteer groups inventorying trees at no cost to them, allow people to identify trees with the click of a picture, and share knowledge with like-minded individuals.

Edna Guenther taught our founder to make small strides as ordinary people and make changes in peoples’ lives one step at a time. In loving memory of Edna, this is our one step at a time.

We have chosen to voice our seeds of change by connecting people with trees. We believe that trees and plant materials are a key factor in creating a stable environment and a better way of life for all. Please help us help your organization with our knowledge and experience.