Journeys of Dr. G at Tyler Arboretum

The sabbatical project continues, exploring all that Tyler Arboretum has to offer

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Raising Bass for Delaware County (1967)

Screen shot of the article from the January 1967 issue of Pennsylvania Angler.

Screen shot of the article from the January 1967 issue of Pennsylvania Angler.

The title of this blog post may seem a bit strange – but there is a direct connection to Tyler Arboretum!

Back when I was doing some internet research for a future blog post on Carl W. Fenninger, the person for who the holly collection at Tyler Arboretum is named, my online journey took me to an article in the January 1967 issue of Pennsylvania Angler.  On page 21, I came across an article titled “A PFC Co-Op Project – Bass for Delaware County.”  You can access the article at this link:

There seems to be quite a history between the Delco Anglers and Conservationist (a co-op trout nursery) and Tyler Arboretum.  From the History section of their website, I found the following:

Delco Anglers and Conservationist were first incorporated in October 1962. … Trout that we use to stock our local streams for the benefit of all fishermen. The nursery’s location for the first 37 years was on the grounds of Tyler Arboretum in Media Pa. We had fish pens that were rectangular raceways about 125 ft. long by 10 ft wide. The nursery has been dedicated to raising various types of trout including Brown, Rainbow, Golden and Pennsylvania’s state fish, the Brook trout, also called “Brookies”. We are proud to be one of the few co-op trout nurseries in the Southeastern part of Pennsylvania that are given fingerling Brook trout to raise.

Pennsylvania Angler is now titled Pennsylvania Angler & Boater Magazine, with its first issue published in December 1931.  The magazine is published by the Pennsylvania Fish & Boat Commission.

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Tyler Tales and Labels in Braille

One of the ways I prepare posts for this blog is to have several entries “in progress” and select one to finalize and have go “live” each week.  One post I had in a very early draft form was on the connection of Helen Keller and Tyler Arboretum – and it looks like one of Tyler’s student interns for the summer beat me to getting a post online on this very topic!

So I first have to give a “virtual shout out” to Tyler Arboretum’s latest blog, called Tyler Tales.  This new blog journeys through the fascinating history and legacy of Tyler Arboretum.  Early contributors to Tyler Tales includes Tyler staff members Kathryn Ombam and Chris Lawler, as well as new Education Department summer intern Shannon Crowe (who just happens to be an undergraduate student at my school, Penn State Brandywine!).  Note that you can sign up to receive email updates every time a new post is added – just enter your email in the box on the right side of the Tyler Tales home page, and you will soon receive posts on a range of topics.  My favorite post so far has been the very first one – it contains a photo of the original land deed between William Penn and Thomas Minshall (circa 1682).

Shannon recently wrote a post titled “An Unexpected Connection: Helen Keller and Tyler’s Fragrant Garden.”  This post includes photos from a letter Helen Keller sent to the Arboretum, dated December 3, 1950, adding her support for the creation of a fragrant garden.  Please read Shannon’s post – again, another fascinating story from Tyler’s history!

In my early searching for information on Tyler’s efforts to establish a garden for the blind, I came across this 1949 newspaper article that pre-dates Helen Keller’s letter:

From the Chester Times newspaper archive, August 26, 1949, page 7. Accessible at:

From the Chester Times newspaper archive, August 26, 1949, page 7. Accessible at:

I also found an article called “Notes and Comments: Garden for the Blind,” in the American Association of Botanical Gardens and Arboretums Newsletter 2 no.1, (January 1951): pages 7-8, that references “in 1951 the John J. Tyler Arboretum, in Media Pennsylvania set up labels in Braille for the blind.”  Clearly, Tyler’s work made local and national news!

Tyler’s Fragrant Garden is definitely going to be on my “list of places to explore” the next time I stop by the Arboretum!


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Geocaching begins at Tyler Arboretum on National Trails Day


For those of us that love navigating the outdoors with a GPS unit in hand, I have some exciting news to share.  During the National Trails Day celebration on Saturday, June 7, two official geocaches will be activated at Tyler Arboretum!  If you are unfamiliar with geocaching, check out the short introductory video below.

Maybe you aren’t a geocacher, but you would like to learn more.  You are in luck!  Andy Harobin and I, both on the Board of Trustees at Tyler Arboretum and avid geocachers, will be at Tyler for National Trails Day from 11AM to 3PM to teach you about this outdoor game (think of a scavenger hunt).  We will have handheld GPS units to loan you if you want to practice geocaching on a mini-course we have set up “in the fence” at the Arboretum, appropriate for young and old, individuals and families.  Then, if you are feeling adventurous, you can head out and find the two official geocaches set up on the official Geocaching network.

Of course, if you have your own GPS unit, bring it along to try our practice course and to find the caches on your own.  Don’t have a GPS unit and want to get a jump start geocaching on your own?  The official Geocaching app is also available for download on the iPhone, Android, and Windows 7 phone at:  Get your app downloaded and ready ahead of time to join us for the fun.

Don’t forget that there are several other activities going on at Tyler Arboretum for National Trails Day, such as:

  • From 8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m. volunteer your time to work with our horticulture crew on some much needed trail maintenance and gain free admission for the entire day. Pre-registration required by contacting Julia Lo Ehrhardt at 610-566-9134, ext. 205 or; must be 13 or older to participate.
  • Orienteering demonstrations led by the Delaware Valley Orienteering Association (DVOA) and self-guided hikes from 11 a.m. – 3 p.m. They will offer maps with a shorter family hike and maps for a longer adventurer hike, perfect for Boy Scout requirements.
  • Adult Critter Hike from 11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
  • Bluebird education from 11 a.m.-1 p.m., with a Bluebird Hike appropriate for all ages at 11:30 a.m.
  • Adult History Hike from 1:30-3 p.m.
  • Educational displays

I hope to see you at Tyler for National Trails Day!