Morris Arboretum Executive Director Wins Award from Public Garden Association

At the 2013 APGA National Conference held in Phoenix, AZ in May 2013, Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania Executive Director, Paul W. Meyer received the APGA Award of Merit. The award recognizes an individual APGA member who has performed with distinction in the field of public horticulture and has excelled in the public garden profession at one or more institution.  The recipient’s accomplishments should encompass some combination of botany, horticulture, gardening, research, extension, education, development or administration.  The intent is that the award be given to an individual during the latter part of an illustrious career.

Those who wrote letters supporting this nomination have known and worked with Paul Meyer for a combined 135 years.  Paul has served a single institution, Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania for 37 years, rising from Curator of Living Collections to Executive Director, a role he has now held for 22 years.  He has undertaken a dozen plant exploration trips to the Far East and is known as one of the finest plant hunters of his generation.  He is a co-founder of the North American-China Plant Exploration Consortium and an early leader of the APGA’s North American Plant Collections Consortium, or NAPCC.

Paul W. Meyer led the Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania out of a dark period in its history and transformed it into one of the finest public gardens in America. Paul credits the commitment of the Arboretum’s Advisory Board of Managers, its incredible staff and tireless volunteers for this transformation. Paul has generously and selflessly mentored countless public garden professionals over the years, including Bill LeFevre who presented the APGA Award of Merit.  In Paul’s role at the helm of the Morris Arboretum, he has earned numerous awards and honors from institutions including the American Horticultural Society, the Garden Club of America, the Pennsylvania Horticultural Society, and APGA’s forerunner, the American Association of Botanic Gardens and Arboreta, which awarded him its professional citation in 2001.

In accepting the award, Paul Meyer was proud to share his honor with the Morris Arboretum Board, staff, and volunteers whom he feels deserve credit in making the award possible.

The Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania is located at 100 East Northwestern Avenue in the Chestnut Hill section of Philadelphia.  The 92-acre horticulture display garden features a spectacular collection of mature trees in a beautiful and colorful landscape. The Arboretum includes numerous picturesque spots such as a formal rose garden, historic water features, a swan pond, and the only remaining freestanding fernery in North America. A permanent nationally award winning exhibit, Out on a Limb – a Tree Adventure adds to Morris Arboretum’s allure by transporting visitors 50 feet up into the treetops on a canopy walk that requires no climbing.  Open weekdays 10am-4pm and weekends 10am-5pm. Open late on Thursdays in June, July, and August until 8:30pm. For more information, visit

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