Philadelphia Navy Yard Receives Arboretum Status

PIDC & PHS announce today that the Navy Yard has received Level I arboretum accreditation from Arbnet. This accreditation complements and enhances the ongoing preservation and protection of trees, shrubs, perennials, and wildlife. The Navy Yard is only one of five arboretums in Philadelphia. The announcement was marked with a morning ceremonial tree planting at the historic Marine Parade Grounds.

PIDC, Philadelphia’s public-private economic development corporation, in partnership with the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, a nonprofit organization connecting people with horticulture, announced that the Navy Yard has received Level I arboretum accreditation from Arbnet, a global network for tree-focused professionals. This accreditation complements and enhances the ongoing preservation and protection of trees, shrubs, perennials, and wildlife. The Navy Yard is only one of five arboretums in Philadelphia. The announcement was marked with a morning ceremonial tree planting at the historic Marine Parade Grounds at Broad Street and Intrepid Avenue.

The Navy Yard is considered the most successful redevelopment of a former military facility in the country. A thriving riverfront neighborhood, the Navy Yard currently features more than 7.5 million square feet of buildings housing 13,500 employees working at 160 companies. It is also a waterfront habitat home to over 2,000 trees, hundreds of shrubs and perennials, and an array of wildlife. With a Level I arboretum accreditation, the Navy Yard will continue to acknowledge, protect and enhance 1,200 acres of a beautifully forested and historic campus within the heart of Philadelphia. PIDC and PHS will encourage the preservation and appreciation of this unique site by nurturing current tree species and making strides towards a diverse future collection. By cultivating connections between visitors and horticulture through education and demonstration, the Navy Yard is an interactive resource where visitors can appreciate and learn about ecology within the urban context of Philadelphia.

“The Navy Yard is an iconic Philadelphia place, and one of its most overlooked and underappreciated attributes is the collection of mature trees,” said Prema Katari Gupta, PIDC’s Senior Vice President, Navy Yard Management, Development, and Operations. “We are proud to partner with PHS to earn this important arboretum accreditation that will celebrate, highlight, and protect these significant trees and plantings for generations of workers and visitors to come.”

Some unique aspects of the collection on campus include several 100+ year old specimens of Platanus x acerifolia, Platanus occidentalis and Quercus rubra, as well as many mature Nyssa sylvatica, Liquidambar styraciflua, Quercus palustris, Quercus imbricaria and Acer saccharinum.  Among these massive specimens there are more than 1,600 juvenile or mid-maturity trees, including Acer saccharum ‘Fall Fiesta’, Quercus acutissima, and Cercis canadensis ‘Oklahoma’.  This ratio of mature to juvenile species demonstrates the Navy Yard’s commitment to the future canopy.

“Thanks to our valued partnership with PIDC, PHS is thrilled to have earned Level I Arboretum status at the Navy Yard. With this accreditation, we will continue our work raising awareness of this historic landscape, preserving and expanding the existing collection of trees and plants, and spotlighting the many ways in which horticulture can help create beautiful, healthy and sustainable places to live and work,” said Matt Rader, PHS President. “We are grateful to Arbnet for providing this educational platform and for connecting our efforts with a larger network of like-minded institutions.”

Over the winter and early spring, PHS will be working with PIDC to create and place the physical tags identifying various tree species around the Navy Yard. Additionally, PIDC and PHS will continue to work towards higher levels of professional standards, including enhancing the Navy Yard’s landscaping and creating a larger arboretum collection with over 100 species, varieties or cultivars of trees or woody plants, and enhanced educational and public programming in the future. This will allow for application for the Level II accreditation.

Today, the Navy Yard is considered the most successful redevelopment of a former military facility in the country. A thriving riverfront neighborhood, the Navy Yard currently features more than 7.5 million square feet of buildings housing 13,500 employees working at 160 companies, ranging from headquarters for Urban Outfitters and GSK to technology startups, manufacturers, corporate R&D, and a graduate engineering and research satellite for Penn State University. Home to historic structures and new high-performance and LEED-certified development, the Navy Yard offers diverse, flexible building choices with varying heights, vintages, and floorplates, all powered by a nationally-recognized micro grid and oriented around miles of riverfront access and world-class open space. Future growth will support up to 10 million square feet of commercial and residential development. It continues to serve as one of the region’s most important centers of employment as it attracts new businesses and investment to Philadelphia.

About PIDC
PIDC is Philadelphia’s public-private economic development corporation. A non-profit founded in 1958 by the City of Philadelphia and the Greater Philadelphia Chamber of Commerce, PIDC’s mission is to spur investment, support business growth, and foster developments that create jobs, revitalize neighborhoods, and drive growth to every corner of Philadelphia. Over the last 60 years, PIDC has invested more than $14 billion of financing and more than 3,000 acres of land sales – which has leveraged over $25 billion in total investment and assisted in retaining and creating hundreds of thousands of jobs in Philadelphia. As master developer of the Navy Yard, PIDC manages all aspects of the property’s management and development, including master planning, leasing, property management, infrastructure development, utility operation, and structuring development transactions. For more information about PIDC, visit www.PIDCphila.com and follow us @PIDCphila on Twitter.

About PHS
The Pennsylvania Horticultural Society is a not-for-profit organization, founded in 1827, whose programs connect people to horticulture and collaboratively creates beautiful, healthy and sustainable communities. PHS’s best known activities include the Philadelphia Flower Show, street tree planting and maintenance, community gardening, public beautification, and the PHS Pop Up Gardens. PHS is supported by individual members and supporters, foundations, partners and government grants. PHS programs bring together people from diverse backgrounds to engage in horticultural projects that advance social equity, environmental sustainability, and urban livability. For information or to support our work, visit PHSonline.org.