Morris Arboretum

Morris Arboretum

Connecting people, plants, and place.

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LEED® Platinum Certified Horticulture Center

Conserving natural resources to build a sustainable future.

This 20,840-square foot facility provides work space for the Arboretum’s horticulture, public programs, and facility staff. The new space provides the infrastructure needed to match the tremendous growth the Arboretum has experienced over the past 30 years and to address future expansion of the institution. The “green” elements of the Horticulture Center serve an even greater function, through providing unique opportunities to educate the public about the importance of protecting our natural resources.

The Horticulture Center is not open to the general public to visit without a class, tour, or event scheduled in advance. The general public is welcome and encouraged to schedule a prearranged visit to see the eco-friendly structure.

LEED® Certification

The Horticulture Center was designed in accordance with the Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design (LEED®) Green Building Rating System, which provides a standardized approach to environmentally sustainable construction. The Arboretum is committed to “raising the bar” for itself as well as for the wider community; as such, it has achieved the highest level of LEED® Certification, Platinum, for the Horticulture Center project.

Sustainability Overview

The following features of the Horticulture Center demonstrate Morris Arboretum’s dedication to environmental stewardship, through reducing the Arboretum’s carbon footprint, engaging in sustainability best practices and qualifying for the LEED® Platinum Certification.

Geothermal Wells: An efficient ground-source heat pump provides heating and air conditioning for the building, using only about 1/4 the energy of a typical boiler/air conditioning system.

Green Roof: Green roofs on the garages will help moderate the temperature of the building, capture and store storm water, reduce carbon dioxide and provide beautiful view for staff and visitors.

Solar Energy: Photovoltaic panels will provide on-site generation of renewable energy, with peak electricity production during the hot summer months when the demand for electrical power is highest.

Air Quality: The building will be well insulated to eliminate infiltration of outside air and reduce the energy lost through the walls.

Lighting: The building’s lighting system is designed to take full advantage of natural daylight and minimize energy use by using skylights and roof monitors to supplement artificial lighting.

Water Cisterns: To reduce water usage, rain runoff from the building will be collected in cisterns for use in irrigation and in lavatories.

Recycling Construction Material: 40% of the building materials used in construction was regionally sourced, recycled or salvaged.

Horticulture Center and Green Roofs Tours

Duration: 60 minutes

The Horticulture Center is not open to the general public to visit without a class, tour, or event scheduled in advance. The general public is welcome and encouraged to schedule a prearranged visit to see the eco-friendly structure. Tours are from the ground only.

For more information or to schedule a tour contact: Lisa Bailey 215.247.5777 ext.157 or email:

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Construction Notice:

Parking Lot Closed September 21, 22 and 23.

Morris Arboretum’s parking lot is being repaved September 21, 22 and 23. Our parking lot is a demonstration lot for its sustainability. Installed 25 years ago as one of the first of its kind, the parking lot has filtered into the earth about 31,863,304 gallons of precipitation from the Wissahickon watershed. But the time has come for it to be renewed.

The entire parking lot will be closed September 21, 22 and 23. Auxiliary parking will be available at the bottom of the hill (near the kiosk) and shuttle service will be provided to the top of the hill. ADA access will be limited. No buses will be permitted beyond the kiosk.

We apologize for the inconvenience, but we are committed to keeping our parking lot sustainable and our visitors safe. Thanks for your patience.

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

Please note that weather conditions can change quickly, check back or call (215) 247-5777 before heading out for a visit.

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.