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Lecture Series

A stone and metal sculpture stands to the side of a colorful, blooming rose garden.

Endowed Lectures

An annual series of lectures held from late fall to early spring that explore a wide variety of fascinating topics. Lectures are supported in part by the Klein Lecture Endowment given in memory of Dr. William M. Klein who served from 1977-1990 as the Arboretum’s first full-time director, the Laura L. Barnes Lecture Endowment of The Philadelphia Foundation, given in memory of Laura Barnes by students and alumni of her school of horticulture, and the Byron Lukens Lecture Endowment, given in memory of educator and Arboretum volunteer, Byron Lukens and his wife Elizabeth.


Less Lawn Lecture Series

For well over 100 years, an evenly trimmed lawn has been the commonly accepted ideal for defining outdoor spaces in public and home landscapes. But these days, we know that we can ask for more from lawns and gardens. Our front and back yards don’t have to be predominantly lawn—they can be beautiful and functional ecological communities that feed pollinators, help manage water, filter pollutants, and more.

Open to home gardeners and aspiring or established landscape professionals, this series goes far beyond the ‘why’ and well into the ‘how’, providing practical information for transforming part or all of your lawn into a beautiful space of ecological value. From meadow to woodland to native perennial shade garden (and more), when taken as a whole, this series will provide participants with a thorough understanding of the required steps towards tangible alternatives to lawn that embrace natural processes and that will work both for you and for nature.

All Less Lawn lectures have been approved to carry LA CES CEUs for Landscape Architects and ISA CEUs for Registered Arborists. Two lectures also carry NJ BTE CEUs. See details below.

The Morris Arboretum & Gardens Lecture Series is supported in part by the William Klein Lectureship Endowment, the Laura L. Barnes Horticultural Lecture Fund of The Philadelphia Foundation, and the Byron & Elizabeth Lukens Lecture Endowment.

Each session: Members: $35 / Non-members: $40



Less Lawn: Living in the Liberated Landscape (ONLINE)

LARRY WEANER Founder & Principal, Larry Weaner Landscape Associates
Tuesday, December 5
6:00—8:00 PM

All too often we think of gardens and landscapes as static compositions of carefully placed and managed plants. But a more dynamic approach can take advantage of the unique characteristics of plant species and communities, working with ecological processes, not against them. Learn how designer Larry Weaner combines design with the reproductive abilities of plants as well as ecological processes to create compelling, ever-evolving landscapes that bring new meaning to partnering with nature. Using examples from his property and client projects, he will share this give-and-take approach that frees plants to perform according to their natural abilities and liberates people from trying to control every detail and cater to a landscape’s every need. This is a virtual program – the Zoom link will be emailed to all registrants.

This lecture has been approved to carry 2.0 ISA credits for certified arborists and municipal specialists (s=0.5, p=0.5, m=1.0), and 2.0 LACES CEUs.

Register →


Less Lawn: Creating Connections— Design-Centered Conservation

Andrew Kirkpatrick, Director of Stewardship, Willistown Conservation Trust
Monday, December 11
6:00—7:30 PM

Have you been re-thinking your lawn? Are you ready to make a change to a rich, interconnected habitat for birds, pollinators, and wildlife, but feel overwhelmed or unsure where to begin? Then join Andrew Kirkpatrick for a discussion about applying design-centered conservation practices to enrich your property while balancing all your recreational, maintenance, and aesthetic needs. Andrew will discuss the importance of collaborating with your community for a broader impact than one yard alone can accomplish. If you are a fan of Doug Tallamy’s Homegrown National Park, then this talk is a great starting point for making changes to your own backyard, connecting with the larger ecological landscape, and becoming a part of the solution: a massive and exciting grassroots conservation movement! This is an in-person program.

This lecture has been approved to carry 1.5 ISA credits for certified arborists and municipal specialists (s=0.5, p=0.5, m=0.5), and 1.5 LACES CEUs, and 1.5 NJ BTE CEUs

Register →