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Haverford College
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Inside the Arboretum: About Us

Bill Astifan with the Bur Oak

Bill Astifan (Director of Arboretum Association/Assistant Director of Facilities, Arboretum) with the Bur Oak in front of Magill Library.

Haverford College was founded in 1833 by Welsh Quakers. The following year William Carvill, an English gardener, was hired to transform the tilled fields, woodlots and pastures into a campus landscape. Trees were planted to frame and complement open spaces, border the lanes in alleés and form grouped circles on open lawns, a reflection of the English landscape tradition of Sir Humphrey Repton. Today the pastoral landscape includes several original oaks on Founders Green.

In 1901 a group of students and alumni formed the Campus Club to help preserve the campus landscape after discovering the original landscape drawing. Their work eventually led to the founding of the Haverford College Campus Arboretum Association (now the Haverford College Arboretum Association) in 1974, which continues to perpetuate the landscape’s original design.

Contact the Arboretum at (610) 896-1101 or

The Haverford College Arboretum is a member of Greater Philadelphia Gardens.

Feeding the Waterfowl

The Duck Pond is home to a variety of ducks and geese, as well as migrating waterfowl. If you must feed these birds, please offer them healthy foods such as cracked corn or duck pellets. Do NOT feed them bread, crackers, doughnuts, popcorn or similar “people” food. Inadequate nutrition will cause ‘angel wing,” an inverted wing deformity, and their eventual death.

Wedding Policy

Haverford College does not permit wedding ceremonies to take place on campus. A hall is available for rental from June through mid-August for receptions only, but the bride or groom must be an alum, current employee, or legal dependent of a current college employee. For more information, email

Mission Statement

The mission of the Arboretum is to preserve the stately historic trees on campus and to perpetuate the landscape design set forth in 1834. In carrying out this mission, it is our responsibility to maintain and build upon the diversity of the tree collection, as well as to enhance the study of this history by bringing a better understanding of it to all who visit Haverford College.

Annual Report