Entrance Garden at Taylor Arboretum

Taylor Arboretum

Explore the 30-acre reserve of plantings, trails, meadows, and more located about a mile north of the university.

Plant Life

Most of the plant collections and specimens on the grounds were planted in the 1950s. The arboretum boasts mature collections of dogwoods, magnolias, and hollies, and, in recent years, plants native to the region such as shadbush and viburnums have been planted. The Ridley Creek borders the property, which is also home to a variety of wildlife native to the area.


The site of the arboretum was once part of a thousand-acre land grant sold to John Sharpless by William Penn in 1682. From 1740 to 1882, the grounds were part of an industrial mill complex that produced lumber, grain, and textiles. Joshua C. Taylor, a Chester lawyer, purchased the property in 1926 and the arboretum was dedicated in 1931 to the memory of his wife, Anne Rulon Gray. Taylor dedicated the arboretum to promote the "health, enjoyment, and education of the public in perpetuity". To ensure conservation efforts would continue, Taylor created the Taylor Foundation. Widener University acquired the Taylor Arboretum and its endowment in 2016 and operates the property.

Learn more about the history of the Taylor Memorial Arboretum Vernal Pond

Environmental Research

Not only is it a beautiful place to visit, it also provides students, faculty, and the greater community with expansive opportunities for hands-on learning and research — acting like an outdoor laboratory. Here, research is taken to a new level and you'll often find faculty and students on the grounds, whether it's environmental students researching the plant or animal species, or biology students conducting water quality studies.

Sustainability at Taylor Arboretum


The Taylor Arboretum is committed to sustainability. Advancing scientific research by studying real-life environments, like the arboretum, help us to do just that. Our hope is that these steps in research and education will one day be part of a worldwide movement. It's time to save our planet. 

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