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Penn's Secluded Campus Oasis

May 1, 2012, Volume 58, No. 32

BioPondNestled amidst Penn’s scientific buildings is an oasis that attracts nature lovers as well as dozens of species of birds, such as the blue heron, the scarlet tanager and the snowy egret. The James G. Kaskey Memorial Garden is a two-acre enclave for ephemerals—plants that grow, flower and die in a few days—such as the mayapple.

The meandering paths wend their way through the well-tended Garden to the BioPond which was created during the last decade of the nineteenth century, opening as a five-acre research garden in 1897. The Garden fulfilled the botanical research needs of the botany department and has become a graceful addition to the University landscape. It can be reached by walking along Hamilton Walk, named in honor of William Hamilton, who had been the original owner of the ground where the University and the Garden were built.

With construction of Leidy Labs and the Anatomy-Chemistry Labs at the beginning of the twentieth century, the BioPond area was reduced to three acres. With the construction of the Carolyn Lynch Laboratory at the beginning of the twenty-first century, the Garden’s footprint was once again reduced (Almanac July 11, 2006).
In 2000, Richard, W’43, and Jeanne Kaskey donated funds to renovate the pond, which was dredged, relined and its edges redefined. A waterfall and weeping water walls were added to provide drinking spots for birds. The Kaskeys subsequently endowed the Garden, to continue its care.

James G. Kaskey Memorial Garden Homepage: http://www.bio.upenn.edu/facilities/greenhouse/biopond/



Almanac - May 1, 2012, Volume 58, No. 32