Penn Landscape

Landscape and Plantings

FRES is responsible for the management, design, and technical support of landscape projects and oversees all open space, including trees, plantings, walks, hardscape, and exterior furnishings.

The Landscape Architecture group, within the Office of the University Architect, supports the University's mission by preserving the character of the landscape and implementing improvements and ecological initiatives. The Office works closely with our Urban Park staff to maintain our campus.

All landscape projects follow our Design Standards for exterior furnishings including bike racks, benches, lighting, bollards, tables and chairs, and donor plaques.

The design of our campus stems from the original landscape plan developed in 1977. For more information about campus development, visit Campus History.

The University of Pennsylvania campus in West Philadelphia was officially recognized as an arboretum in 2017. Penn’s urban campus has achieved particular standards of professional practices deemed important for arboreta and botanic gardens and therefore has been awarded a Level 2 Accreditation by the ArbNet Arboretum Accreditation Program.

Penn’s nearly 300 acres in West Philadelphia are the primary home of the University, populated by more than 21,000 graduate and undergraduate students and 17,000 faculty and staff. The newly accredited Penn Campus Arboretum encompasses the entire campus and is now one of Penn’s two arboretums. The Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania is the official Arboretum of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and is located in Chestnut Hill, a mature suburban community about 15 miles from Penn’s main West Philadelphia campus. The Morris Arboretum and Penn have a robust partnership promoting shared research, outreach, and education programs highlighting the importance of trees.

The Penn Campus Arboretum curates and manages a diverse collection of trees, focused on preserving and sustaining the urban forest for the well-being of the community, environmental benefits, research, and educational opportunities. Penn’s campus is an urban forest with more than 6,500 trees in its collection, over 240 species of trees and shrubs, ten specialty gardens, and five urban parks.