Current Initiatives

Tyler’s Strategic Master Plan

Under Tyler’s current master plan, we are building, expanding, or renovating signature exhibits to increase our educational offerings and enhance our visitor experience.  The master plan presents four “core” concepts or pillars as priorities for Tyler Arboretum to reach our full potential in serving our Delaware Valley community.

Destination

Establish the Arboretum as a premier regional attraction by creating new and enhanced exhibits and expanding visitor services.

Preservation

Preserve our lands and historic legacy for future generations.

Education

Strengthen the connection between people and nature through learning and inspiration.

Natural Resource Stewardship

Restore and protect our natural resources through best management practices.

You can help us engage more people with nature with your gifts to these initiatives.  Gift opportunities begin at $25,000.

To explore these opportunities, please contact:
Mary Beth Jackson
Tyler Major Gifts Officer
(610) 566-9134 ext 206

Thank you for your interest.

John C. Wister Rhododendron Garden

John C. Wister Rhododendron Garden– this significant heritage collection of over 1,500 specimens, many found nowhere else, is the vision of Tyler Arboretum’s first director, Dr. John C. Wister.  He transformed a 12 acre overgrown forest into a naturalistic garden filled with exquisite rhododendrons as his “testing ground” for hybridization research.

Project Highlights

  • New rhododendrons and companion plants in a series of garden rooms
  • Enhanced garden canopy and herbaceous ground layers
  • Added pathways to assist visitor access
  • Educational discovery stations

Impact:   To strengthen Tyler’s offerings as a major regional destination for visitors and horticulturists featuring the regionally and nationally significant designed garden of Wister Rhododendrons. This collection also offers educational experiences and an example of home gardening best practices.

Fragrant Garden

Fragrant Garden – this garden currently sits at the Barn’s west end. In its planned, more accessible location by Lachford Hall, it will offer formal and casual education opportunities. Our new design will create a welcoming home landscape while unifying several entry points to the Arboretum. The garden will offer an accessible nature experience close to the entrance for those who may benefit.

Project Highlights

  • Central herb garden feature in raised beds
  • Landscape plantings that shelter and feed birds
  • Pedestrian scale walkways throughout the garden
  • Arbor providing shade and seating alongside Lachford Hall
  • Gazebo as an garden entry and overlook

Impact:  To offer more opportunities for learning the historic, medicinal, and culinary uses of herbs and the relationships of herbs to pollinators and beneficial insects.

Butterfly House and Pollinator Garden

Butterfly House and Pollinator Garden this stunning new exhibit will anchor the visitor experience in the Arboretum’s west end. Set within the native grasses, wildflowers, and shrubs of the North Meadow Wetland Garden, the house will feature native plants and butterflies. We will provide an in-depth look at the life cycles and interrelationships of plants and insects. From egg to larva to pupa to adult, we will celebrate the butterfly’s life cycle – highlighting environmental and dietary needs of each stage.

Project Features

  • Permanent Butterfly House – will extend our season from June – September
  • Pollinator Garden – will feature grasses, wildflowers and shrubs integral to the life cycles of butterflies and other pollinators
  • Classroom and teaching space
  • Path connecting Butterfly House to existing Arboretum pathways

Impact:  To strengthen the Tyler visitor experience and education messages around plant and butterfly symbiosis, butterfly life cycles and habitat needs,  the critical role of pollinators in enhancing biodiversity, and to demonstrate sustainable gardening practices for home gardeners.

Tyler Bank Barn Renovation

Tyler Bank Barn Renovation – built in 1833, the Barn is a large and beautifully constructed Pennsylvania bank barn. The Barn’s east end was rebuilt under Dr. Wister’s guidance and initially used as a garage and tool shop while the upper floor was a meeting room. In the mid 1980’s, the Barn underwent extensive renovations converting the garage to a lecture room and installing a new kitchen and ramp to the third level.

The Barn is currently used for all educational programs and education offices, Tyler events and receptions, our rental business and storage. Tyler’s only public restrooms are located on the second floor. With recent increased participation in all programs, the Barn has reached capacity.

After a thorough analysis, our plan is to completely renovate the Barn‘s interior. With removal of incremental renovations, we plan to create an open and flexible floor plan for today’s uses while preserving our barn’s historic character and integrity. 

Project Highlights

  • Renovate the entire building with a flexible and open floor plan with additional restrooms and upgraded kitchen facilities.
  • Preserve the historic character and integrity of the barn for adaptive re-use.
  • Addition of an elevator to make the building accessible on all levels.

Impact:  To allow us to connect more people to nature, inspiring them to take action to preserve our natural environment while maintaining the historic character and legacy of the Tyler family homestead.

Staffing Endowments

Staffing Endowments – will increase Tyler’s institutional capacity by designating resources to key staffing positions. To fully realize the ambitious goals of our Strategic Master Plan, our goal is to grow the financial and human resources available, to maintain and then expand our ability to support our four core goals of Destination, Education, Preservation and Natural Resource Stewardship.

Arboretum Sustainability Initiatives

Under Tyler’s current master plan, we are working to maintain and expand our capacity to offer educational experiences and opportunities for our visitors to engage with nature.  The master plan presents four “core” concepts or pillars as priorities for Tyler Arboretum to reach our full potential in serving our Delaware Valley community.

Destination:  Establish the Arboretum as a premier regional attraction by creating new and enhanced exhibits and expanding visitor services.

Preservation:  Preserve our lands and historic legacy for future generations.

Education:  Strengthen the connection between people and nature through learning and inspiration.

Natural Resource Stewardship:  Restore and protect our natural resources through best management practices.

You can support our efforts with a gift to these initiatives. Sustainability gift opportunities begin at $2,500.

To explore these opportunities, please contact:
Mary Beth Jackson
Tyler Major Gifts Officer
(610) 566-9134 ext 206

Thank you for your interest.

To strengthen Tyler’s offerings as a regional destination for the Delaware Valley community, we have targeted several areas where we can enhance the visitor experience. Gift opportunities begin at $4,000.

  • Lighting in the parking lot
  • Updated Arboretum signage at Painter & Barren Road

To preserve the Arboretum’s lands and historic legacy for future generations, we have several building preservation and renovation projects with gift opportunities beginning at $3,000.

  • Lachford Hall porch repair
  • White Cottage – 1950 addition removal
  • Sewer system installation for Stone House, White Cottage & Lachford Hall

To expand education outreach to build people’s connections with nature, gift opportunities to support vital education programs begin at $1,000.

  • Outreach programs
  • School Field Trips
  • Adult and Youth Education on-site programs
  • White Cottage – renovating the first floor to provide teaching space

To protect and steward the Arboretum’s natural resources which offer a place of sanctuary to many, gift opportunities begin at $10,000.  

  • Develop Native Woodland Walk
  • Restore Pink Hill serpentine barren ecosystem
  • Part-Time Natural Areas Manager
  • Meadow Maze exhibit
  • Restoration and repair of the Pond 

To build Arboretum institutional capacity to maintain our natural areas while expanding member and visitor services, gift opportunities begin at $2,500.

  • Communication and  education technology system upgrades
  • Horticulture department equipment and maintenance support
  • Pole Barn structure
  • Storage equipment
  • Cisterns and solar panels

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