Celebration at Awbury Arbortum

March 28, 2016

Friday, March 11th, saw a party inside Awbury Arboretum’s Cope House in Philadelphia. Speakers from Natural Lands Trust, Awbury Arboretum, PA Department of Conservation and Natural Resources, and state legislators gathered to celebrate Natural Lands Trust’s permanent protection of Awbury Arboretum via conservation easement. (Under an easement, property remains in private ownership, but is protected from future development in perpetuity.) The arboretum, which covers 55 acres of wetlands, meadows, and other habitat, has been open to the public for nearly 100 years. Awbury - WCS essays - March 2016_Page_1

The day’s special guests were five students from the Wissahickon Charter School who frequently visit Awbury to learn and play. The students read moving essays about their love for Awbury and their experience listening to the rustle of the trees or watching the snow fall. In the middle of the city, this place is a natural playground for the children in the community.

Awbury - WCS essays - March 2016_Snow

It was a reminder to everyone present what we are working for: our community, the children in the room,  and the children who will play in the shade of the beautiful, large trees of Awbury in the generations to come. The significance of this open space within the City of Philadelphia is extraordinary, and the celebration was a wonderful reminder of what’s been accomplished at Awbury Arboretum: saving the trees and trails, and the passing on the gift of shade, blossoms, and singing birds on to the next generation… all protected forever.

Photo by Mae Axelrod

Clockwise from left: Awbury Arboretum Board Chairman Mark Sellers, Natural Lands Trust President Molly Morrison, PA DCNR Regional Advisor Andrew Gilchrist, State Representative Stephen Kinsey, and students from the Wissahickon Charter School