Wednesday, June 30, 2010

OOAL Birthday Celebration Video

Click on the link below to preview a video about the Out on a Limb Birthday Celebration happening at the Morris Arboretum this saturday.

Out on a Limb’s first birthday party on July 3rd from 11am-1pm!  Enjoy free birthday cake starting at 12:00 pm, and a giveaway from Bredenbecks Bakery in Chestnut Hill, while supplies last.  

For more details visit:

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Tree Adventure Featured on Interior Design magazine

Tree Adventure and the wonderful architects at Metcalfe Architecture and Design are praised again in this article in the prominent national publication, Interior Design. Out On a Limb has been an outstanding exhibit here in the last year and has drawn new visitors and members alike in first-class style.  It is hard to believe but Out on a Limb has been open for almost a full year now!  In celebration, we are throwing a birthday party for Out on a Limb this Saturday, July 3rd.  Check out the details here.

Wednesday, June 23, 2010

Summer Adventure Camp

This summer, we launched our first Summer Adventure Camp here at the Morris Arboretum.  Headed up by our Education Intern, Bekka Schultz, kids ages 6-8 are gathering here to learn more about nature, plants and gardening.  Today, the "Arboretum Adventurers" learned about where our food comes from at a garden plot at Bloomfield Farm and talked about the interactions between people, plants and animals as they built terrariums. 

A better look inside a terrarium where the ideas of ecosystem and habitat are introduced.

Although I was sweating up a storm taking pictures and learning about silly bandz, kids buzzed around, water bottles in hand, unscathed by the heat under a sheltered area here at the Arboretum.  The week has been full of games and activities that have been enjoyed by everyone, infused with educational components consistent with Morris Arboretum's mission that promotes an understanding of the relationship between plants, people and place.

Bekka and Brian introduce an activity where they will paint a flower pot and then learn how to plant, water and take care of plants:

This year's camp, although the first, was completely sold out and judging by what I saw today during my visit, seems like a total success.

For more information on the Summer Adventure Camp and inquiries for the possibility of camp next summer, click here.

Monday, June 21, 2010

Out on a Limb's First Birthday

This last year has been a huge success for Morris Arboretum, in large part because of our exciting new exhibit, Out on a Limb.  If you have never visited, you should take advantage of our late Thursday hours (we are open until 8:30) this summer - a chance to visit the garden in the cooler hours of the evening with the beautiful setting sun.  In celebration of the first birthday of the award winning exhibit, Out on a Limb, here at the Morris Arboretum, you’re invited to Out on a Limb’s first birthday party on July 3rd from 11am-1pm! (Learn more here)

In anticipation of Out on a Limb's first birthday celebration, we made a casting call for our members and visitors who had babies also celebrating their first birthday this July to join us in a photo shoot.  We had many enthusiastic parents wanting to show off their babies on Out on a Limb and everyone had a great time.  The babies were so cute and the shoot was fun for all the parents and staff involved.  Thanks to Nick Kelsh (, photographer and best-selling author, has an exceedingly impressive portfolio of baby pictures for running the shoot (one of which graces the cover of our Seasons magazine, due to reach homes later this month).

Here are a few shots:
Families perched on the Squirrel Scramble as babies looked up for the camera

A great shot by Paul Meyer of the "stroller brigade" along the path at the entrance of Out on a Limb.

Nick Kelsh coaches parents on how to pose with their babies.

Check your mailboxes later this month for the newest issue of Seasons with this great photo - happy birthday to all the babies and to Out on a Limb!

Friday, June 18, 2010

Moonlight & Roses at Morris Arboretum – an Enchanted Evening on a Perfect Summer Night

675 guests enjoyed cocktails and hors d’oeuvres at Moonlight & Roses in the glorious Morris Arboretum Rose Garden on a splendid summer evening on Friday, June 11th. 480 guests stayed for dinner, either under the Rose tent, where they danced the night away to the lively sounds of Jellyroll, or under the quieter Moonlight tent where they enjoyed the ambiance of conversation and conviviality.

Revenue from the event was $187,000. This year, proceeds raised from Moonlight & Roses will support the Arboretum’s operating budget and its Summer Concert series, a favorite among garden and music lovers alike. This year’s concert line-up includes four Thursday nights: two jazz concerts in July presented by WRTI 91FM, and two XPN Kids Corner concerts in August presented by University of Pennsylvania’s WXPN 88.5FM.

The honorees of Moonlight & Roses were Bonnie and Peter McCausland. Both Peter and Bonnie have dedicated years of service to the Arboretum as former members of the Advisory Board of Directors, as current members of the Directors’ Guild, as donors and as friends of the Arboretum. Most recently, they have become one of the Arboretum’s newest neighbors as well as partners in preserving the region’s open spaces through their purchase of Erdenheim Farm. Barrett Stewart and Lisa Walker were this year’s Moonlight & Roses co-chairs who worked tirelessly with committee members to make this year’s Moonlight & Roses a success by all measures.

(Left to right)Barrett Stewart joined Peter and Bonnie McCausland, Paul Meyer, the F. Otto Haas Director of the Morris Arboretum, and his wife Debbie Rodgers and Lisa Walker as they welcomed guests to the event. Photo Credit: Susan Scovill

(From left) Nancy Evans, Jon Crane, Susan Crane and Ralph and Natalie Hirshorn were pictured at the event. Photo Credit: Susan Scovill

(From left) Lisa Walker and Barrett Stewart, this year’s Morris Arboretum Moonlight & Roses co-chairs. Photo Credit: Annie Hosfeld

Friday, June 4, 2010

Morris Arboretum on homepage!

Check out today and under the Travel section for the article called "6 Philly gems beyond the Liberty Bell"

CNN added Morris Arboretum as one of the "Six Philly gems beyond the Liberty Bell" in a line up including Philadelphia Mural Arts program and Rodin Museum.

Read what CNN has to say:

(CNN) --Philadelphia is one of the few American cities whose history is a fully integrated part of the urban landscape. Cars still roll along the city's cobblestone streets, people live in homes dating back to the 18th century and bars Ben Franklin frequented are popular today.

Philadelphians don't neglect their history, and rarely do they cordon it off.

But apart from the tourist destinations that are synonymous with the place, such as the Liberty Bell, the art museum steps (you know, from "Rocky" fame) or Pat's and Geno's famous Philly cheesesteak shops, there is an often overlooked aspect of Philadelphia: its cultural depth.
So for the curious admirer, here's a list of some other interesting Philly destinations:

Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania
There are few places so close to urban centers -- the Arboretum lies on the northwest, and most rural, edge of Philadelphia -- that allow you to experience such natural diversity. More than 2,500 types of plants strew the grounds.

You can be strolling through an English rose garden and the next moment find yourself standing in front of world-renowned artist Patrick Dougherty's "Summer Palace," an art installation created by weaving sticks and saplings together.

In the summer, a miniature garden railway is erected, an always-popular amusement for children who get to experience the delights of a massive train set. And from summer concerts to a rotation of special exhibits, there's always something new taking place.

Check it out here:

Killdeer at the Horticulture Center

Atop the new Horticulture Center's 6-bay garage is an intensive green roof with a large variety of plants and grasses. The green roof is a feature that is part of the sustainability effort at the Horticulture Center, slated for LEED certification.  Not only does the roof help to reduce the building's absorption of heat from the sun and slow water runoff but it also is home to a number of Native Perennials and Prairie Grasses.

The roof is not yet fully vegetated but that didn't stop a Killdeer from recently setting up "nest" amidst the small stones and grasses.  Killdeer, a type of Plover, is a bird that doesn't make a typical nest in a tree that may immediately come to mind.  Instead, it lays its eggs on the open ground, sometimes among gravel, leaving it open to predators.

The Killdeer uses two main defense mechanisms to protect its eggs.  First, the eggs are camouflaged to blend into its surroundings and second the Killdeer uses a distraction display to protect their nests from predators.  If an animal approaches the nest, the Killdeer will move away from the nest and feign a broken wing by flapping its wings and making a loud crying noise to distract the threatening predator from the nest.  When the predator, thinking the injured bird is an easy target, begins to close in on the Killdeer, it flies a few feet away and repeats the distraction display, lulling the predator further and further from the nest.

The camouflage of the Killdeer's egg is very impressive.  Can you spot the Killdeer eggs in the picture below?

Can you see them in this zoom-in?

Still need another hint?

Here it is: the Killdeer's camouflaged eggs on top of the Horticulture Center's Intensive roof:

The Morris Arboretum is home to many other species of birds and animals - we will explore some of them in upcoming blog posts so stay tuned.  Kudos to the sharp eyes of Louise Clark for spotting the eggs and thanks to Paul Meyer for the all photos (besides the one of the actual Killdeer by Alan Wilson) and information on the Killdeer.