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Park Commission Press Releases

Let Nature “Take You by the Hand” with a Cell Phone Tour at Willowwood Arboretum
Willowwood Arboretum photo
MORRISTOWN, NJ. – Tour Willowwood Arboretum with a guide, anytime you like! Just bring your cell phone to Willowwood Arboretum and enjoy a free 1-hour long tour of the grounds by simply dialing a number and listening. “Willowwood’s beauty is clearly evident, but it’s fascinating history is not. Using cell phone technology helps us to share the story of Willowwood Arboretum with visitors and provide in depth plant information,” says Lesley Parness, Superintendent of Horticultural Education for the Morris County Park Commission. 

Guests can tour Willowwood’s grounds daily from 8 a.m. until dusk year-round. There are plans to annually update the “Where Nature Takes You by the Hand” the cell phone tour and add a Smart Phone component allowing uploads of archival photographs and links to botanic-based websites. This cell phone tour is offered through October and with the generous support of the Willowwood Foundation. Rob Diemar, President of the Willowwood Foundation adds, “The Willowwood Foundation is excited to have been able to work with the Morris County Park Commission that introduces the first cell phone tour to Willowwood Arboretum. This project brings Willowwood into the 21st century and provides guests visiting the Arboretum an opportunity to learn so much more about its rich history. This will truly enhance the visitors experience at Willowwood."

Willowwood Arboretum, located at 300 Longview Road in Chester Township, is comprised of approximately 130 acres of themed gardens, plant collections, meadows, and native woodland in the Hacklebarney Hills on the southwestern border of Morris County, New Jersey. The Arboretum is located on a former farm dating to the 1700s.

In addition to the striking scenic landscape and collection of plants and historic structures, the Arboretum is historically important as a garden and plant collection that was created by brothers Henry and Robert Tubbs, who bought the property in 1908, and Dr. Benjamin Blackburn, a professor of horticulture at Rutgers University and Drew University who helped to establish the site as a public arboretum in 1950. Today, Willowwood Arboretum offers numerous horticultural displays and native and exotic plant collections primarily for self-guided walks. Approximately 2,500 plant species are present on the property. Recreational opportunities are enriched at Willowwood Arboretum by trails linking the site to the Bamboo Brook Outdoor Education Center, the Black River Trails, and Patriots’ Path Trail systems.

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The Morris County Park Commission features one of the region’s best park systems in the state of New Jersey. It currently protects and maintains 18,600 acres at 38 distinct sites and a year-round calendar of events and activities for all to enjoy!