Awakening the Senses: New Interpretive Approaches at the Morris Arboretum

Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania



Lydia’s Seat, featured in Morris Arboretum’s Then and Now online experience, in which historic images of garden locations are contrasted with contemporary images of the same spot. Each featured location has an accompanying audio recording, which places the location in historical context. Photo courtesy of Morris Arboretum.


A family learns about the Log Cabin, built in 1908. The Log Cabin was used by Lydia Morris to entertain her friends and contemplate nature among the woodlands. Photo courtesy of Morris Arboretum.


Families engage in \Wormy Fun


Part of the Awakening the Senses architecture tour, the Pump House was built in 1908 to send water up the hill to the garden fountains, beginning with the Orange Ballustrade. The Pump House was renovated in 1994 and now serves as a decorative function. Photo courtesy of Morris Arboretum.


Visitors young and old enjoy the magic of Morris Arboretum's outdoor Garden Railway display. Courtesy of the Morris Arboretum.


A visitor participating in the mobile Awakening the Senses Great Trees tour, stands in front of the Katsura tree. Planted around 1902 by the Morrises as part of their Japanese garden, it is one of the oldest trees of its kind in North America. Photo courtesy of Morris Arboretum.

In an effort to deepen visitors' curiosity about the arboretum's plants, architecture, and history, the Morris Arboretum will develop mobile technology that provides instant access to a wide variety of content that is currently unavailable. This content will run the gamut from the educational to the playful, in order to engage visitors of all ages: photographs and archival material from the Arboretum's collections, expanded information on specific plants and trees, oral histories, and audio clips from experts in botany, architecture, and other fields.

Additional unrestricted funds are added to each grant for general operating support.