The Morris Arboretum is a 92-acre botanical classroom located in the Chestnut Hill section of Philadelphia.
The University of Pennsylvania operates the arboretum, as a place to teach science, art, and humanities is they relate to nature.
Chestnut Hill resident and Arboretum member Seth Shapiro said it offers residents something special, “Opportunities for that sort of education and interaction are so rare, particularly in an urban environment.”
Although Chestnut Hill and other Northwest Philadelphia residents also can escape to Wissahickon Valley Park, it is where Ann Reed, a 20-year arboretum volunteer likes to go to escape, “It is my quiet oasis…it is a wonderfully peaceful place to get away from all the wear and tear and turmoil of the city and just regular old life.”
In a time where nature often goes unnoticed, places such as the Morris Arboretum is designed to remind us of the importance of nature.
Vanessa Martino and Michael Bellizzi are students at the University of the Arts. This piece was produced as part of the collaborative media program of The University of the Arts and WHYY/NewsWorks.