Morris Arboretum

Morris Arboretum

Connecting people, plants, and place.

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Donor Stories

Leadership in Planned Giving

Joe and Liz Flanagan are well acquainted with the mission of the Morris Arboretum – as members, volunteers and donors. They were members of the Annual Giving Committee, were among the founding members of the Directors’ Guild in 2005, and were eager supporters of Out on a Limb, Tree Adventure exhibit, providing an early gift to help fund the planning of the canopy walk.

During their years living on Mill Road, Flourtown, Joe developed a great interest in rhododendrons, as both a grower and a skilled amateur propagator. He has participated in the Annual Plant Sale as a volunteer, selling rhododendrons on behalf of the Philadelphia Chapter of the American Rhododendron Society. When the Flanagans moved to the Hill at Whitemarsh, Joe took some specimens and cuttings with him for the garden at their new home.

By making the Morris Arboretum a beneficiary of a charitable remainder unit trust, the Flanagans have provided for research and education for future generations. The Joseph P. and Mary Elizabeth Flanagan Endowment will support a range of opportunities to expand the knowledge and skill of Arboretum propagators who will, in turn, share their knowledge with members, students and visitors. Every plant exploration trip that is undertaken by an Arboretum staff member yields important germplasm used for subsequent research in disease resistance and in new species introduction. In a time of global stress to the natural environment, this research and its results are increasingly important.

Two years ago, the Flanagans’ daughter, Maureen, moved back to Philadelphia and is now continuing her family’s involvement at the Arboretum, as a current member of the Directors’ Guild and as a volunteer in the Marketing Department. We thank Joe and Liz for making this connection.

It is with deep appreciation to Liz and to Joe that we recognize and honor their many years of membership and friendship.

The Lydia Morris Legacy Society

Evamarie Malsch has known the Morris Arboretum since the days she could enter at the Hillcrest Pavilion and wander at will through the overgrown, but still beautiful grounds, admiring the trees and flowering shrubs. Walking has always been an important part of Evamarie’s life, as I was reminded when I visited with her in mid-November. She had just returned from a trip to Europe that included walking through the mountains of northern Italy, and hills of the Salzkammergut in Austria, as well as singing with the Berkshire Choral Festival in Salzburg.

Evamarie was born and raised in Cologne, Germany, where she also studied medicine. She continued her studies at the University of Freiburg and then came to the United States for an internship. After a year of traveling and then another year working in Germany, Evamarie returned to the U.S. for an anesthesiology residency program at the University of Pennsylvania. She then decided to work in the States and return to Germany for vacations, a tradition she has continued for 40 years.

Living in East Falls made the Morris Arboretum a good and convenient choice for walks, but it wasn’t until she retired that Evamarie had the time to volunteer at the Arboretum. Trained as an Arboretum guide, she enjoys taking adults through the garden, an experience that can last an hour or several hours depending on what the visitors would like to see. With every tour, Evamarie always points out all the other things there are to see and do so that visitors will want to return.

Evamarie has watched the Arboretum’s physical features being restored as programs expanded and new features were built. She has a special appreciation for the water features that Lydia and John Morris installed. A long and happy association with the Morris Arboretum and a desire to see it continue to flourish prompted Evamarie to create two charitable gift annuities that will provide her with guaranteed income for life and also make a lasting contribution to the Morris Arboretum. The proceeds from these gift annuities will support these water features and their ongoing maintenance.

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