Become a Guide at Morris Arboretum and Enjoy Many Benefits


Guides have played an active role at Morris Arboretum for nearly 40 years.  Today, as in the past, guides are people from the community interested in giving their time and energy to the Arboretum for many reasons.  Often they want to learn exciting new things, to be inspired by the beauty of Morris Arboretum, and also to meet staff and other volunteers who believe trees are vitally important to everyone’s life. Active guides at Morris Arboretum are rewarded with a variety of learning opportunities such as field trips, lectures and classes; receive exciting awards for volunteering; make lifelong friends; and improve their physical and mental health.

Leading children’s and adult tours are the primary responsibility of guides.  Children’s tours are most often curriculum-based, aimed at teaching groups about trees, the wetlands, and sustainable practices, while adult tours are primarily general or garden highlights tours. Guides also welcome visitors, help plan their visits, and assist during special events such as Arbor Week, and the Cherry Blossom Festival.  Guides are also called upon to promote the Arboretum and its events to their neighbors and friends and, sometimes to local media such as guide Charlie Mazza’s interview with Mike McGrath from WHYY’s You Bet Your Garden.


Guide instruction begins with a 42-hour course given during 14 days in March. Throughout this time, guides-in- training learn about plants, the history of the Arboretum, techniques for leading tours, and much more.  In addition, trainees gain “hands on” experience by leading parts of tours with current guides. During the course, trainees are paired with mentors, who will support and encourage them until they are prepared to give tours on their own.

If you would like to be a part of this actively engaged group, please contact Liza Hawley, Assistant Director Visitor Education, at or 215-247-5777 x128, or visit the garden online at

Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania is a 92-acre horticulture display garden featuring a spectacular collection of mature trees in a beautiful and colorful landscape. Highlights include a formal rose garden, historic water features, a glass fernery, and Out on a Limb, a permanent nationally award-winning exhibit 50 feet above the ground.  Morris Arboretum’s Horticulture Center has received Platinum Level LEED® Certification, the highest sustainability rating of the U.S. Green Building Council. For more information, visit:

Photo Credit:  Susan Crane

Photo Caption:  Morris Arboretum Guide, Jim Bobb leads a local school group on a pollination tour around the garden.  You too could become a Morris Arboretum guide and enjoy the many rewards of volunteerism including, learning opportunities, exciting awards, meeting new people, and spending time in the spectacular 92-acre garden.  To learn more about becoming part of this active group, please call Liza Hawley, Assistant Director Visitor Education, at or 215-247-5777 x128, or visit