Tyler at a Glance

Tyler Arboretum is a non-profit public garden in Delaware County, Pennsylvania serving the Greater Philadelphia region. One of the oldest arboreta in the northeastern United States, Tyler Arboretum encompasses 650 acres of renowned plant collections, heritage and champion trees, historic buildings and 17 miles of hiking trails through woodlands, wetlands and meadows. The Arboretum is open to the public 362 days a year.

The Economic Impact of Regional Gardens

A March, 2017 report commissioned by Greater Philadelphia Gardens (GPG) shows that the Philadelphia area’s public gardens, arboreta, and historic landscapes generate substantial economic benefits for the region. GPG, made up of more than 30 public gardens in a 30-mile radius, has called the region “America’s Garden Capital.”

According to the report, compiled by the Philadelphia-based consulting firm Econsult Solutions:

• The economic impact of member gardens within the 11-county Philadelphia region is $256 million a year.

• These public gardens support more than 1,500
jobs—with total earnings of $79 million—and generate $3.6 million a year in business, sales, and income tax revenue in Pennsylvania.

While the majority of the jobs supported by the
operations of the gardens are in the arts, entertainment, and recreation sectors, there are many jobs indirectly supported in industries including real estate and professional services.

The capital investment the gardens initiate enhances regional tourism and recreation, and stimulates the local economy. Over the last three years, GPG members have spent approximately $116 million on construction projects within their gardens. Much of this total is currently being spent at Longwood Gardens to replace 83-year-old fountains and add new water choreography. The investment, labeled “New Heights: The Fountain Revitalization Project,” is set to be completed by this spring. Other recent projects include the renovation of
the house at the Winterthur Museum, Garden & Library, and the additions at Bartram’s Garden, which include the new Ann Bartram Garden and a mile-long hiking trail. The spillover impact from this spending ripples through a variety of sectors, including architectural and engineering services, truck transportation services, wholesale trade, processing, storage, transport and disposal, and retail services.

• These gardens collectively attract an estimated 2.5 million visitors annually – on par with some of the region’s most popular attractions (the Liberty Bell with 2.2 million visitors and Valley Forge National Park with 2.1 million visitors). Two-thirds of the gardens’ out-of-town visitors spend more than a day, and an average of $145 per day on food, accommodations and other expenses, in addition to what they spend at the gardens.

The full report is available at americasgardencapital.org/economic-impact.

Mission

To preserve, enhance, and share our heritage, collections, and landscapes, to create and inspire stewards of the natural world.

Horticulture

  • The Arboretum began as a private horticultural collection developed in the mid-19th century by Minshall and Jacob Painter, two Quaker brothers who owned the historic farmstead.
  • Today the Arboretum features beautiful exhibits of heritage magnolias, cherries, crabapples, hollies and lilacs, as well as 11 acres of rhododendrons and azaleas. Herbs are featured in the Fragrant Garden and the Vegetable Demonstration Garden promotes healthy and delicious eating. An extensive collection of conifers is displayed in the Pinetum. Habitat-based displays include the Native Woodland Walk, Butterfly House and Stopford Family Meadow Maze.

Education

  • School programs serve nearly 7,000 elementary and preschool students from 20 districts in surrounding counties and four states.
  • Life-long adult learners participate in hands-on workshops and classes on gardening, sustainable horticulture and botanical arts as well as field studies about birds and native plants. Kids and families enjoy discovery opportunities exploring plants and nature.
  • Kids get outdoors and have fun learning about the natural world through summer camp, Scout programs and eco-birthday parties.

Natural Lands

  • The Arboretum is steward to 650 acres – over a quarter of the total acreage of privately protected land in Delaware County.
  • Seventeen miles of hiking trails traverse 550 acres of woodland, meadow and stream valleys.
  • Tyler is recognized as an IBA (Important Bird Area) by the National Audubon Society and maintains an active Bluebird nest box program with 47 monitored and maintained boxes.

Exhibits

  • Ten tree houses are open seasonally, generally from April through the end of November.
  • Tyler’s 1,400-square-foot Butterfly House is filled with native butterflies, caterpillars, chrysalis and the plants they depend upon for survival. The House is open in July and August.

History

  • This National Historic Register property passed through eight generations of the Minshall/Painter/Tyler families beginning with its purchase in 1681 from William Penn.
  • The property became a public garden at the bequest of the last family descendent in 1944.
  • Tyler Arboretum oversees the preservation of several historic buildings, including Lachford Hall, a stone Pennsylvania bank barn, the Painter Library and several 19th Century outbuildings including a root cellar, springhouse and greenhouse.
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