Morris Arboretum

Morris Arboretum
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Nature Play at Morris Arboretum

Nature Play


Nature Play is every day in the Sculpture Garden at Morris Arboretum. The concept of Nature Play is to give children space to discover the wonders of the natural world in an intuitive and unstructured way. Nature Play is a specific, designated area that gives kids space where such behaviors were previously ‘not allowed.’

In their article “Nature Play,” the Pennsylvania Land Trust Association says, “This type of unstructured, make-it-up-as-you-go play [has] existed since the dawn of humanity, with changes in its details but not in its essence. It [has] long served human children well: firing their imaginations, building their physical endurance and coordination, testing their initiative and courage, nurturing their people skills, and fostering life-long friendships with other kids and with nature.” (“Nature Play,” conservationtools.org)

This new space is Morris Arboretum’s “yes” area. Yes to going off the path. Yes to touching. And best of all, YES to climbing. As one parent expressed, “Love it! It was a nice break for my three kiddos from the gardens where they could look but not touch.” Nature Play helps children learn self-reliance, explore their interests, make independent observations and decisions, and solve problems. Such experiences encourage a lifetime of environmental stewardship and connections with the natural world.

Featuring large cut trees and stumps for climbing, various nature objects for building and creating, and tools for exploring, this space will also serve as an outdoor classroom for many Growing Minds classes and schools visiting on field trips. Open daily in the Sculpture Garden.


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Know Before You Go

For the safety of our visitors and to preserve the structural integrity of our tree collection, climbing or sitting on the limbs of trees is not permitted. Thank you!


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Alerts & Updates


COVID-19 Response

In response to the unprecedented public health crisis related to Coronavirus (COVID-19), Morris Arboretum will close to the public as of March 14, 2020 until the University of Pennsylvania feels that is it safe to re-open. Learn more about the Univerisity's response on the University of Pennsylvania’s dedicated Coronavirus website: coronavirus.upenn.edu. Please know that this decision was made after careful deliberation and that our priority is to do all we can to ensure the safety and well being of our staff, volunteers, and visitors. Information pertaining to public health is rapidly evolving and, as such, it is not yet known when we will reopen. We will be vigilant in our efforts to keep our website up-to-date and we will communicate directly to members and class registrants via email with the latest details.

The following information is provided in anticipation of some of the questions you may have relative to the following categories:

Individuals who have registered for a class
It is our intention to provide a refund to individuals who have registered for a class that occurs during this temporary closure. We are working as quickly as possible to process your refunds in the manner in which you paid. If you have questions, please contact education@morrisarboretum.org.

Annual Membership
We appreciate your patience at this time. We know that early spring is the most natural time to come out to the Arboretum for a walk in the gardens to enjoy the fresh air, but maintaining public health must be our priority. We look forward to seeing you in the gardens just as soon as we are reassured that it is safe for all of our visitors to return. We will keep you updated on any developments, but in the meantime, if you have any questions about your membership, please contact members@morrisarboretum.org.

Planned Events
Any individuals that have planned events will receive outreach directly from a staff member to discuss your options.

We will continue to update the community as soon as information is available and is consistent with the evolution of this dynamic situation. Questions may be directed to info@morrisarboretum.org.

We appreciate your understanding during these challenging times and we thank you for your support. Please stay connected with us through Facebook, Instagram, and our website.

Resources
Center for Disease Control (CDC): cdc.gov/coronavirus
University of Pennsylvania’s dedicated Coronavirus website: coronavirus.upenn.edu

Unfortunately, Out on a Limb will be closed on Wednesday, January 29th through Friday, January 31, 2020 due to scheduled maintenance.

The Garden Railway will not be operational from 2:00 PM Friday (July 19) through the weekend (July 20-21). The trains will open for normal operation on Monday, July 22nd. Our Train Master reported that the trains will not operate in the excessive heat, citing electrical, track and rolling stock failures.

The Arboretum is open as usual. Click here for hours.

Garden Railway trains are not running Saturday, September 8th and Sunday, September 9th due to inclement weather.

Please note: The Rose Garden is closed for maintenance every Thursday morning until noon.

Weather conditions may limit garden access to certain features even if the garden is open – please check the web site or call (215) 247-5777 for updates before visiting. Our visitors’ safety in the garden is our top priority. Therefore when inclement weather is predicted, we will make decisions about closing the garden accordingly.

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