Curtis Arboretum Management Plan

Project Background

Cheltenham Township received a grant from the Pennsylvania Department of Conservation & Natural Resources (DCNR) to prepare a landscape management plan for the historic 45+ acre Curtis Arboretum.

The Curtis Arboretum, located off Church Road and Washington Lane, is part of the former Curtis Estate and is listed on the National Register of Historic Places due to the landscape that was cultivated by the former property owners before it was turned over to the Township as permanent open space. Over time, a significant amount of the original landscaping has deteriorated or died off. The proposed landscape management plan will offer ways to improve, restore and enhance the original landscaping of the property and adapt the Arboretum to modern recreational needs.

Despite the deterioration of the landscape, Curtis Arboretum offers wonderful natural, historic, recreation and architectural resources that are frequented and beloved by many generations of Township residents. It's wooded and grassy rolling hills, network of ponds and streams, elegant Curtis Hall and landscaped grounds offer a great deal to the Township.

The landscape management plan is guided by a 24-member steering committee consisting of various stakeholders of the Arboretum, which has worked to design a plan meeting the following goals:

  1. Develop a long-term plan for design and historic renovation of the Arboretum and overall site.
  2. Develop long-term property management strategies to preserve the historic and natural resources.
  3. Innovation of recreational and/or educational activities.
  4. Document the historic landscapes and pursue designation as a Historic American Landscape Survey (HALS) site according to National Park Service standards.

NAM Planning and Design, LLC has lead the planning process for this project. Below you will find information regarding the planning process and draft documents for review.


Final Plan, adopted December 2016





Contact Us

Fabien Desrouleaux
Director of Parks & Recreation
Township Administration Building
8230 Old York Road
Elkins Park, PA 19027
room Get Directions

Phone: 215-887-1000