Today, the Arboretum's natural areas in the lower meadows look almost as they did when the
property was the Morrises’ estate. In the early 1900s, John Morris drained the area and installed a
tile field for grazing cattle. Over the years, sections of the tile field broke down, making the area
marshy from underground springs and groundwater. The combination of water and soil types made
the location perfect for the development of a wetland. After receiving funds from federal and state
agencies, local foundations and generous individuals, restoration of the pre-existing wetland took
place in 2002.
The new construction included both shallow areas for vegetation as well as several deep holes to
accommodate the overwintering of fish and amphibians. To encourage birds, waterfowl and
mammals to inhabit the area, bluebird, kestrel, wood duck and bat boxes were installed. The
Arboretum’s wetland is now a thriving example of an ecosystem that supports an abundance of
native plant life, as well as year-round and migratory bird populations.