Environmental Quality Protection, Beautification

JOHN J TYLER ARBORETUM

  • Media, PA
  • www.tylerarboretum.org

Mission Statement

Tyler Arboretum's mission is to preserve, develop, and share our diverse horticultural, historical, and natural site resources in order to stimulate an understanding of the living world. Tyler Arboretum remains intact since its institutional founding in 1944, with its natural and historic resources protected for the public benefit. For almost half a century, tens of thousands of school children have learned about the environment and the importance of preserving plant and animal diversity. The Arboretum's natural areas, over 650 acres, continue to help protect the watershed for Ridley Creek, and the entire 650-acre parcel serves as a buffer for wildlife threatened by suburban development.

ruling year

1942

chief executive

Mr. Richard Colbert

Self-reported by organization

Keywords

Arboretum, Horticulture, Native Butterflies, Suburban Forest, National Register Historic Property, Environmental Education, Birding, Important Bird Area, Conservation, Historic Trees, Biodiversity, Cultural Landscape, Dr. John C. Wister, Rhododendron Collection, Display Garden, Public Garden, Woodland Restoration, Deer Browse Protection, Hiking Trails

Self-reported by organization

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EIN

23-1417540

Also Known As

Tyler Arboretum

Contact

Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Botanical Gardens, Arboreta and Botanical Organizations (C41)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Programs + Results

How does this organization make a difference?

Programs

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

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Program 1

Tyler has over 20 miles of marked trails that are maintained by both staff and a cadre of dedicated volunteers. Outside of the square mile deer exclosure fence the "natural areas" encompass a rare serpentine barren with its unique flora and fauna, an American Chestnut Nursery, and woodlands that buffer the core historic Minshall/Painter/Tyler homestead. Along with Tyler's adjacent neighbor Ridley Creek State Park, the Arboretum is an Audubon Society designated Important Birding Area. The first horticultural collection at Tyler, created by Minshall and Jacob Painter, began with the planting of rare trees in the meadow in front of historic Lachford Hall in 1826. The collection now consists of 23 original Painter trees planted between 1840 and 1876. The historic Painter collection is notable for its age and size as well as for its sources of plant material,such as the 19th-century Quaker arboretum of John Evans in Radnor, now vanished. The subsequent development of the historic portions of Tyler Arboretum includes the Wister Collections, researched and planted by Dr. John C. Wister, Tyler's director from 1946 to 1965. Dr. Wister was a nationally renowned horticulturist and was honored for his work by the American Rhododendron Society, the Massachusetts Horticultural Society, and the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society. He was awarded the Liberty Hyde Bailey Medal from the American Horticultural Society, along with an honorary Doctorate of Science degree from Swarthmore College. Under Dr. Wister's guidance, the collections of the Arboretum were greatly expanded to include the best of natural, historic, and contemporary ornamental trees and shrubs for the region. Tyler's core complex consists of an assemblage of historic buildings and associated landscapes that represent Tyler's past as a working farm, country villa and Quaker-inspired botanical collection, and later as a public arboretum. Tyler's historic Home Farm includes Lachford Hall (circa 1738, 1777, 1881), a stone bank barn (circa 1792, 1833), the Painter Library (circa 1863), and 19th century outbuildings including a caretaker's cottage, carriage house, earthen root cellar, springhouse, and green house. The barn serves as Tyler's Education Center, the Painter Library contains historic archives; and Lachford Hall is a historic house museum with offices in the rear portion of the building. Volunteer docents provide tours of the Painter Library and Lachford Hall collections during scheduled weekend tours. The historic core complex also serves as the hub of Tyler's education programs that use the arboretum as a "living textbook." Tyler Arboretum serves regional public schools as a "field classroom" and is committed to building cooperative partnerships in order to best serve as a community resource. Tyler's programs support the Pennsylvania Department of Education's "Environment and Ecology" Academic Standards by addressing the mandated learning concepts, and assisting teachers by presenting information in ways not available in the classroom. Tyler serves school districts throughout Delaware County, as well as some in Philadelphia, Chester, and Montgomery counties. Tyler's most popular programs include the seasonal Mini-Explorer field trips for pre-schoolers and the Bugs and Lenape field trips for elementary students. Preschool programs use age-appropriate, sensory experiences and teaching techniques to introduce nature and plants, animals, and insects as children explore Tyler's habitats and collections.

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Financials

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THE JOHN J TYLER ARBORETUM
Fiscal year: Feb 01-Jan 31
Yes, financials were audited by an independent accountant.

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Operations

The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

JOHN J TYLER ARBORETUM

Leadership

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Free: Gain immediate access to the following:
  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2015, 2014 and 2013
  • Board Chair and Board Members
  • Access to the GuideStar Knowledge Base Search
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CHIEF EXECUTIVE FOR FISCAL YEAR

Mr. Richard Colbert

BIO

Mr. Colbert has 27 years of progressive experience in public horticulture and has served as the Executive Director of Tyler Arboretum for the past 22 years. He received his B.S. in Agriculture, with an emphasis on plant science and ornamental horticulture, and M.B.A. from the University of Delaware. His current duties include overseeing management and operations. With the full support of the Board of Trustees, Mr. Colbert has led the efforts to develop Tyler's strategic master plan, incorporated best professional practices throughout the institution, and worked to insure the sustainability and advancement of the Arboretum as an acclaimed regional resource. Mr. Colbert has served as a Peer Reviewer for the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission, as a Board Member of the American Association of Botanical Gardens and Arboreta, and on the Arthur Hoyt Scott Medal Award Committee and The Pennsylvania Horticulture Society Award Committee. His work has been recognized through honors such as the Award of Merit from the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society and the Outstanding Professional Member Award of the Middletown Township Business and Professional Association.

Governance

BOARD CHAIR

Mr. Guy Messick

BOARD LEADERSHIP PRACTICES

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BOARD ORIENTATION & EDUCATION

Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?


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CEO OVERSIGHT

Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?


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ETHICS & TRANSPARENCY

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BOARD COMPOSITION

Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?


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BOARD PERFORMANCE

Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?