Botanical Society of Lower Merion

The Botanical Society of Lower Merion
HomeAbout UsWhat We DoSupport UsJoin OnlineArchive/Photo AlbumResources



​The Society is an all-volunteer non-profit corporation.

Board of Directors for 2017-2018:

Tom Diederich, President
Scott Feuer, Vice President
Janet Rutzel, Secretary
Betsy Rich, Treasurer

Adam Blistein
Brenda Casper
Jeff Cepull​
Kevin Dunleavy
Carol Eisenlohr
Larry Fine
Norah Goldfine
Carol Lavoritano
Hank Protas
Katy Ruckdeschel 
Mark Shaw
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.