Morris Arboretum

Morris Arboretum

Connecting people, plants, and place.

Notice: Our website is currently undergoing maintenance and information may not be current. For assistance please contact info@morrisarboretum.org.

Volunteer

Become a Volunteer

Volunteering at the Morris Arboretum can be a rewarding and stimulating experience. You will learn new skills, make new friends, and become a valued member of the extended volunteer staff. The Arboretum could not accomplish all that it does without the help of its volunteers who play an integral role in the organization. Listed below are some of the areas in need of assistance, with a contact person for each area. Thank you for considering this volunteer opportunity. We hope to see you at the Arboretum soon!

Download the Volunteer Application


Guides

Play a key role at the Arboretum by welcoming visitors and leading tours for school children, families, and adult groups. A course designed specifically for new guides is offered every spring. No previous background knowledge is necessary, but an interest in plants, history and ecology is important, as is an eagerness to communicate these topics to visitors.

To be considered for the next class, please complete an application and email, bring in or mail to:
Morris Arboretum, Attn: Liza Hawley
100 E Northwestern Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19118

For more information contact: Liza Hawley - efhawley@upenn.edu or 215.247.5777 ext.128.


Horticulture

Volunteers assist in garden maintenance projects. They meet weekly from mid-March through mid-December. Each week the group rotates throughout the entire Arboretum grounds working in a variety of terrains. Together as a group, they tackle a number of physical garden tasks such as weeding, mulching, pruning or invasive removal under the supervision of the Arboretum horticulture staff. Previous gardening experience helpful, but not required. Please call for further information.

Contact: Pam Morris Olshefski - pamela@upenn.edu or 215.247.5777 ext.188


Garden Railway

Volunteers play a key role by welcoming visitors to the display, answering questions and helping visitors experience everything there is to see and do at the Arboretum. If you enjoy interacting with both children and adults, this is the perfect opportunity for you. Shifts are three hours in length (10 a.m. - 1 p.m. or 1 p.m. - 4 p.m.). Come spend a few hours at the Arboretum and experience the magic of the trains!

Contact: Iana Turner - iana@upenn.edu or 215.247.5777 ext.110


Special Events

Have fun while lending a helping hand at special events such as the spring Plant Sale and Fall Festival. Volunteers assist in a variety of ways such as checking out plants at the sale and helping with children’s arts and crafts activities. Most of these events occur on weekends. If you would like to be contacted as these events are approaching to see if they work with your schedule, please send an email to the staff contact listed below.

Contact: Michelle Conners - mconners@upenn.edu or 215.247.5777 ext.109


Membership

Volunteers work with development office staff and assist in all aspects of membership, annual giving, and special event mailings. Tasks include labeling, stuffing, and sorting. Volunteers usually come on the same day of the week on a regular basis.

Contact: Alison Thornton – alisonth@upenn.edu or 215.247.5777 ext.105


Visitor Services

Individuals from all backgrounds are encouraged to become Visitor Education Volunteers and make a positive contribution to the Arboretum and the community at large.

Get behind-the-scenes training that will help you make every visitor's experience the best possible. Learn from Arboretum staff and experienced volunteers how to uncover the sources of all Arboretum knowledge. Meet the nicest people: Visitors at the Morris Arboretum!

To be considered for the next class, please complete an application and email, bring in or mail to:
Morris Arboretum, Attn: Liza Hawley
100 E Northwestern Ave, Philadelphia, PA 19118

For more information contact: Liza Hawley - efhawley@exchange.upenn.edu or 215.247.5777 ext.128.


Marketing

Volunteers are needed to work with the marketing staff on the promotion of the Arboretum. Tasks might include developing articles for the press, volunteering at events, and proof reading. Another area of need is website and technical expertise to implement interactive communication tools and social media for members and visitors.

Contact: Susan Crane - cranesj@upenn.edu or 215.247.5777 ext.121


Springfield Mills

The Run-of-the-Mill volunteers are restoring Springfield Mills to water-powered operation. The structure dates to 1854 with elements from 1761 and sits along the Wissahickon on the Arboretum’s Bloomfield Farm. The mill stones and water-powered machinery are over a century old. Volunteers work on the mill on the second Saturday of every month and operate the mill during public events at Bloomfield. Activities include carpentry, masonry, equipment restoration and general clean up. Research, documentation and education volunteers are welcome. Learn more about Springfield Mills

Contact: Bob Gutowski - gutowski@upenn.edu or 215.247.5777 ext.132


Archives & History

The Archivist at the Morris Arboretum organizes and conserves historic papers, journals, objects, and photographs from the period of the Morris family’s ownership of the Compton Estate, and through its early years with the University of Pennsylvania. Volunteers help conserve or organize historic objects, or take on a project to catalog or research the historical documents. Library or research experience are helpful. Volunteers work on weekdays with the archivist, usually two to four hours at a time, three or four afternoons a month at their convenience. Learn more about the history of Morris Arboretum

Contact: Leslie Morris-Smith - leslm@upenn.edu or 215.247.5777 ext.175


The Shop

Be where the fun is. Volunteers at the Morris Arboretum’s gift shop greet visitors, and get a firsthand look at new merchandise while helping create and maintain displays. Opportunities are available on weekdays.

Contact: Christopher Dorman– dormanc@upenn.edu or 215.247.5777 ext.136


Physical Facilities

Physical Facilities volunteers play a vital role in helping to maintain some of the features at Morris Arboretum such as fountains and visitor center. Tasks range from helping paint interior walls to skimming leaves from fountains to keep the water flowing and the pumps from burning out. A background in a skilled trade such as mechanics or carpentry would be very helpful, but not required. No heavy lifting or expert knowledge is required for many jobs.

Contact: Tom Wilsom – wilsonth@upenn.edu or 215.247.5777 ext.108


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Volunteers Needed:

Physical Facilities

Are you handy with a hammer? Do you love to paint? Did you miss your calling as a carpenter? Want to learn the ins-and-outs of fountain maintenance? The Physical Facilities Department at Morris Arboretum is looking for volunteers to help with a variety of maintenance tasks throughout the year.

Please contact Tom Wilson at 215-247-5777 ext.108 or wilsonth@upenn.edu.


School of Arboriculture

The School of Arboriculture in the Education Department needs assistance for entering names and data onto an Excel spreadsheet so that they can be used for mailing purposes. This would involve 3-4 hours per week at the Horticulture Center at Bloomfield. Experience with Microsoft Excel is required.

Please contact Robert Wells at wellsrob@upenn.edu.

Horticulture Volunteer Opportunities!

Do you like gardening and getting your hands dirty? Would you like to learn more about the gardens of the Morris Arboretum? Then being a horticulture volunteer just might be the task for you! Each week our dedicated volunteers rotate throughout the entire Arboretum working in a variety of terrains. Together they tackle a number of physical garden tasks such as weeding, mulching, pruning or invasive plant removal under the supervision of the Arboretum horticulture staff. Our current program runs one weekday morning a week, but we are hoping to expand to include other weekdays as well. Previous gardening experience is helpful, but not required.

For more information please contact Pam Morris Olshefski, Curatorial Assistant, at pamela@upenn.edu or call 215.247.5777 ext.188.


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