Situated in the northwest part of the city, Penn’s Morris Arboretum has been a gracious public garden and rich resource for amateur and professional botanists since 1933. In addition to playing a critical role as the official arboretum of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the Arboretum offers more than 100 classes, tours, talks, and lectures throughout the year.
The garden’s educational programming includes classes consistent with being a top horticultural and botanical research center: botany, birding, horticulture, and landscape design, as well as professional training courses offered through the Arboretum’s renowned School of Arboriculture.
The Arboretum’s 92 acres of inspiring, relaxing, and rejuvenating garden spaces are also home to less technical class offerings in the creative and culinary arts—classes such as Zentangles (new this spring), Japanese printmaking, drying flowers, or classes on edible native plants.
“Spring classes are especially appealing in that they cover a wide range of interesting topics,” says Miriam Von Essen, assistant director for education and Penn outreach at the Arboretum, “from hands-on horticulture for homeowners, to nature exploration classes for kids ages 2-12, to ‘creative expressions’ art classes, birding, and even yoga in the garden.”
The gardens provide a perfect setting for a host of health and wellness classes, which remain perennial favorites. In addition to yoga, the Arboretum offers fitness and tai chi classes. More adventurous spirits can participate in yoga sessions on the 50-foot-high “Out on a Limb” canopy walk. Stroller Strides, a total fitness program that moms can do with their babies, includes power walking, strength-training intervals, and stroller-based exercises designed to help moms build strength and muscle tone, and improve posture.
Health and wellness classes are not the only Arboretum favorite; daylong trips are among the most popular choices for enthusiasts of gardening, birding, and botany. Excursions planned for this spring include the Dumberton Oaks gardens and art museum in Washington, D.C., shorebird feeding sites along the Delaware Bay, and a botanical tour of Antietem Lake Park in Reading, Pa.
“Taken together,” Von Essen says, “Morris Arboretum classes offer people of all ages the opportunity to experience our beautiful spring-time landscape, while learning a new skill or hobby and fostering a deeper appreciation of nature.”
For their full slate of classes, and to register online, visit the Morris Arboretum website.