Plan Your Visit

Pond & Meadows

The Pond At Awbury

Explore a wetlands habitat, and enjoy its fascinating ecosystem at Awbury. Or maybe you just need a place to reflect waterside.

On any given day you may see or hear frogs, turtles, dragonflies, or visiting ducks. There is always something new and interesting to keep you learning.

Historically, the wetlands area was Wingohocking Creek, but the current form reflects the plan of Arthur Cowell, the landscape architect responsible for the property during the City Parks Era, i.e. a bog and two ponds connected by a small intermittent stream. In wet periods, the overflow travels underground to Frankford Creek and the Delaware River. Stone walls and bridges are modeled on those around Avebury, the Copes’ Wiltshire home village. This section of the Awbury property reflects one of the few major changes made by the City Parks Association.

The pond and watercourse have undergone a historic restoration!

Click here to read our 2021 Leaflet article about the Watercourse Restoration, by Project Manager Chris van de Velde.


Did you know:

  • The restoration added 13.2 acres of “capture area” from which stormwater will be directed towards the pond, including pervious meadow and impervious paved streets.
  • Philadelphia has an average annual rainfall of 41.45”, so one acre yields about 1,125,533 gallons of water annually.
  • More than 14,000,000 gallons  pass through Awbury’s watercourse system annually!
Wetlands at Awbury Arboretum
Wetlands at Awbury Arboretum | Philadelphia, PA

The Meadows At Awbury

In the Cope era, the house and outbuildings for Paramore Farm stood near this meadow. Today, it is a successful, small meadow of native wildflowers and grasses planted as part of Awbury’s stormwater management efforts. A larger European pasture grass meadow is adjacent.

The wildflower meadow is beautiful, while serving an important ecological function. The tall grasses and flowers of the meadow absorb much of the water that falls on the field, preventing it from flowing into and overflowing the storm sewers. Since the meadow also provides a city home for native birds and insects typical of prairies and forest glades, you can enjoy discovering and exploring this aspect of the Arboretum as well.