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Arboretum of the Barnes Foundation facts for kids

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Barnes Foundation, Merion, PA - arboretum pond
The Arboretum of the Barnes Foundation

The Arboretum of the Barnes Foundation (5 ha / 12 acres) is an arboretum and the former site of the Barnes Foundation art gallery, located at 300 North Latch's Lane, Merion, Pennsylvania. The arboretum is open to visitors several days a week. A reservation is required, and an admission fee is charged. The arboretum is pending approval to have an academic association with the adjacent Saint Joseph’s University which would ensure the longevity of the arboretum’s legacy.

The arboretum was begun in the 1880s by Captain Joseph Lapsley Wilson. The site was purchased by the Barnes Foundation in 1922, whereupon Wilson became the arboretum's director and a foundation trustee until his death in 1928. Over time, the arboretum has expanded its collection to over 3,000 species/varieties of woody plants, a herbarium housing 10,000 specimens, and a library of some 2,500 volumes. The arboretum school was established in 1940.

The arboretum contains good collections of Abies, Acer, Aesculus, Berberis, Cotoneaster, Cornus, crab apples, Euonymus, ornamental ferns, Ilex, lilac, Lonicera, Magnolia, peony, Picea, Pinus, Quercus, Rhododendron, Stewartia, Taxus, and Viburnum, as well as notable specimens of Ginkgo biloba, Cedrus libani, Calocedrus decurrens, Cunninghamia lanceolata, Sequoia sempervirens, and Metasequoia glyptostroboides. Other plants of interest include Araucaria araucana, Aucuba japonica, Davidia involucrata, Equisetum sp., Lagerstroemia indica, Magnolia grandiflora, Nandina domestica, and Poncirus trifoliata.

It also contains a formal rose and perennial garden, woodland, lawns, pond, stream, and a greenhouse (reconstructed in 2002) containing about 250 varieties of plants.

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