Widener University has begun a partnership with Natural Lands, the land conservation nonprofit, to plan for the future of Taylor Arboretum.
With support from a grant by the William Penn Foundation, the university is collaborating with Natural Lands to develop a master plan and stewardship plan for the sustainable management of the arboretum.
The effort seeks to transform the site into an integral research environment for Widener and affiliated institutions and protect it as an important resource for public enjoyment.
The university acquired the arboretum, a 30-acre preserve of plantings and natural lands located in Nether Providence Township, in 2016. Sections of the property had fallen into disuse and invasive plants were beginning to degrade native vegetation. A riparian buffer along Ridley Creek also needed attention.
A Widener advisory committee made up of professors in the science division and education, led by Professor Stephen R. Madigosky, chair of the Department of Environmental Science and Sustainability, are meeting with representatives of Natural Lands periodically over 18 months to work on the plan. Karen Clancy, landscape planning project manager at Natural Lands, is assisting the university.
Natural Lands is dedicated to saving open space, caring for nature, and connecting people to the outdoors in eastern Pennsylvania and southern New Jersey.