History of Society
Founded in 1944 the Society created Merion Botanical Park. It purchased an abandoned lot and convinced Lower Merion Township to buy the adjacent parcel. The two parcels together were developed into a botanical garden and public park now owned by the township.
Your dues, donations and volunteer work help maintain and expand the plant collection and create educational signs and activities. Donations and grants also support invasive plant control and ecological restoration projects.
Merion Botanical Park
Most of the 13 acre park is lawn and planted specimen trees and shrubs. Botanical signs with QR codes provide detailed information about the species. List of adoptable specimens and existing memorial trees is available here. The Society is committed to restoring the area between the stream and the train tracks into a native forest. The park provides habitat for a diverse wildlife, including 85 species of birds. Bird nest boxes are placed throughout the park. Volunteers installed a Monarch Way Station in 2014, and a riparian buffer and wet meadow planting in 2015.
The Society's Mission from the Articles of Incorporation “…to collect and assemble, cultivate and develop trees, shrubs, and herbs indigenous to the State of Pennsylvania, to correlate and disseminate information concerning the same by lectures, exhibits and publications, to maintain for study and exhibit, specimens of such trees, shrubs and herbs, to encourage and develop an interest in and knowledge of the science of Botany.”
Interestingly, Laura L. Barnes, who by 1944 has spent two decades developing the Barnes Arboretum’s collection of exotic species, was one of the founding members.