Widener is using its recently acquired Taylor Memorial Arboretum as a resource for both students and teachers to learn more about nature, writes Susan Snyder for the Philadelphia Inquirer.
The 30-acre arboretum in Nether Providence Township is just across the border from the city of Chester. It is an oasis of wilderness that gives members of the university a chance to study and help the environment.
The land, which borders Ridley Creek, is home to a wide variety of foliage, including a giant dogwood, magnolias, pawpaw trees, and a cypress stand. Professors at Widener are already envisioning community residents and students coming to help monitor its streams, plants, and wildlife.
For now, however, the university has a big job on its hands. It wants to identify and label all the vegetation on the property, and potentially add amenities such as picnics tables and a gazebo. If it can raise enough money from donors, it is also considering replacing one of the existing structures with a retreat center and lab building.
For now, both professors and students are taking full advantage of this new asset. One science professor recently went to the arboretum at 2 AM to study moths. Professors in other disciplines are exploring its posibilities as well.
“I have people who say I never knew you were here; this place is marvelous,” said Tom Kirk, manager of Widener’s Taylor Arboretum.
Read more about Widener’s arboretum in the Philadelphia Inquirer by clicking here.