Morris Arboretum

Morris Arboretum

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Moonlight and Roses Gala

Moonlight & Roses
June 5, 2020 | 6pm - 11pm

Moonlight & Roses has been a signature event in our community for nearly 40 years. After much thought and consideration, we have made the very difficult decision to cancel the gala for 2020. For the safety and wellbeing of our guests and staff, we feel that it is best to wait until 2021 to hold Moonlight & Roses again. We have already begun making plans for next year's gala and are looking forward to an extra special celebration.

This event provides critical funding every year for the Arboretum to keep our gardens beautiful and our programming robust. If you are in a position to do so, and would like to make a donation in lieu of a ticket purchase this year, please click here.

If you have any questions, please email Kristen Casalenuovo at We hope that you and your family are staying safe and well.

To register for Moonlight & Roses online, please use Firefox or Chrome as your browser. Or please call Kristen Casalenuovo at 215-247-5777 x418 to register over the phone.

Thank you to everyone who joined us for our Moonlight & Roses gala! We had a beautiful evening in the garden honoring Mary and Richard Graham and The Haverford Trust Company, while raising funds to support all aspects of the Arboretum’s mission. Save the date for next year – June 5, 2020.

What could be better than a magical night of dining and dancing under the stars, surrounded by the lush beauty of roses in bloom?

Moonlight & Roses is the Morris Arboretum’s annual fundraising event to support all aspects of the Arboretum’s mission. The evening begins with cocktails in our stunning Rose Garden at the peak of its bloom. Dinner follows underneath of a clear-top tent with a live band, dancing and open bar.

Registration is now open at the Benefactor and Patron levels. Guests at these levels will be invited to attend a VIP reception in the Rose Garden from 5:30 – 6 p.m. on the evening of the gala and will receive premium valet parking for the event. Click here to register now. Register by March 6 to be listed on the invitation, which will be mailed in April.

Reservations for our Supporter and Young Friend levels will be available in April.

Invitations will be mailed to all Holly level members and above. If you wish to receive a copy, please contact Kristen Casalenuovo at 215-247-5777 x418 or

2020 Honorees – Susan and Robert Peck

This year we are delighted to honor Susan and Robert (Bob) Peck, longtime residents of Chestnut Hill and supporters of the Arboretum for three decades. Susan is currently the Arboretum’s Vice Chair of the Advisory Board of Managers and serves on multiple Arboretum committees. She holds a Doctor of Science degree from the Harvard School of Public Health and is a member of the Garden Club of Philadelphia. Susan also serves as a board member on both the Chestnut Hill Garden District Fund and the Chestnut Hill Conservancy. Bob, a graduate of Princeton University and the Winterthur Program in Early American History, is the Senior Fellow of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Drexel University. He has traveled widely in South America, Africa, and Asia on behalf of the Academy. The author of many articles and more than a dozen books, he has been honored by the Explorers Club and the Garden Club of America for his environmental writing. One of three new species of frogs he discovered in South America has been named in his honor.

2020 Institutional Honoree – TreePhilly

TreePhilly is a program of Philadelphia Parks & Recreation and Fairmount Park Conservancy that promotes Philadelphia’s urban forest and provides residents with the resources they need to plant and care for trees in their own yards and in public spaces. TreePhilly was created in response to the Greenworks sustainability plan and the City of Philadelphia’s goal to increase tree canopy in the city to 30% in all neighborhoods.

Through the Yard Tree Giveaway Program, TreePhilly has distributed over 24,000 free yard trees in neighborhoods of highest need. TreePhilly also engages residents in the planting and care of Philadelphia’s public forested lands and street trees, hosts an annual Arbor Day celebration, spreads the word about the importance of trees through the City of Arborly Love brand, and brings together urban forestry stakeholders across the city and region to connect and collaborate.

Event Chair – Gabrielle Baugh

Chairing the 2020 Moonlight & Roses Planning Committee is Gabrielle Baugh. Gabrielle is a Philadelphia native and a longtime member of the Moonlight and Roses committee and the Arboretum’s development committee. She is also an active member of the Penn Towne Chapter of The Links Inc. and the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society. An award-winning competitive floral arranger, Gabrielle is the 2020-2021 chair of the arrangement classes of the PHS Philadelphia Flower Show.

How the event helps the Arboretum

Moonlight & Roses is the Morris Arboretum’s annual fundraising gala that raises money for the arboretum’s annual operations. Funds raised through this year’s event will support all aspects of Morris Arboretum and will ensure continued excellence in direct support of our mission.

Become a Corporate Sponsor

Morris Arboretum would be happy to provide you with more information on the Corporate sponsorship benefits of Moonlight & Roses and the many effective ways to tap into the loyalty and buying power of the over 3,000 households who receive the invitation each year, the 10,000 constituents who subscribe to the Morris Arboretum e-newsletter and the over 880,000 people that visit our website each year.

To become a corporate sponsor, please contact Kristen Casalenuovo at 215.247.5777 x418 or

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Committee Members

Honorary Chair

Lee Laden


Gabrielle Baugh


Christine Bamberger
Ruth Chang
Amanda Cobb
Amy Coleman
Kelly Culley
Allison DeCaro
Jessie Deming
Gail Detweiler
Kim Frisbie
Sally Gendler
Mary Graham
Melissa Greiner
Katharine Hager
Ellen Nalle Hass
Natalie Collins Hirshorn
Marilyn Long
Laurie Marshall
Margaret O’Neill
Jennifer Ratner
Rebekah Rendell
Elizabeth M. Salata
Sarah Salmon
Christine Wilmerding


History of Moonlight & Roses

As a longstanding Arboretum tradition, the Moonlight & Roses gala, which always takes place in early June, is unsurpassed.

The lively garden party we now know as Moonlight & Roses has had a colorful evolution. In the early 1970s, it was dubbed the Spring Fling, and was held on the lawn behind Gates Hall. The late Jane O’Neill was instrumental in the success of the gala in those early days.

In the 1980s, patrons and contributors donned their garden party attire for the event that was rechristened Moonlight & Roses . The evening traditionally begins with cocktails served in the Rose Garden, while dinner, served by a professional catering staff, is held in a festive tent atop the hill near the Widener Visitor Center. Music and dancing round out the evening of friendly conversation and gourmet dining.

Moonlight & Roses has always provided an intimate setting unique to Philadelphia charity events, and is enjoyed by a capacity crowd each year. The Morris Arboretum's annual fundraising gala, Moonlight & Roses , has become a tradition among friends, families, and colleagues in the Delaware Valley.


Alerts & Updates

Saturday, October 24th advance tickets are sold out! Get your tickets for Sunday, October 25th now!

Due to the weather and flooding, the Arboretum is closed today Tuesday, August 4th.

Advance Tickets Required for All Visitors (Including Members)

The Morris Arboretum is excited to be open! We have instituted new policies as required by the government of Pennsylvania in order to keep the public safe while visiting. Please review the policies below before your visit.

  • The City of Philadelphia mandates that all visitors age 2 and older wear face coverings.
  • If you feel sick, stay home.
  • The Visitor Center, the Shop, and Compton Café are temporarily closed, but picnicking will be permitted in certain areas.
  • The Fernery and the Log Cabin are temporarily closed.
  • Restrooms are open and sanitized regularly.
  • Hand sanitizing stations throughout the Arboretum.
  • Bring your own water and snacks.
  • Library passes and RAP reciprocal admissions are not accepted at this time.
Reserve Tickets Now

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.