Alumnus, Faculty Member Designs Award-Winning 'Out on a Limb' Tree Canopy for Morris Arboretum

June 15, 2010

University of the Arts alumnus Aaron Goldblatt '80 (Sculpture), a senior lecturer in the institution's Museum Studies program, served as a project manager on the award-winning "Out on a Limb" forest canopy, a unique 450-foot long treetop walkway that is the central feature of the "Tree Adventure" exhibit at the Morris Arboretum of the University of Pennsylvania. "Out on a Limb" is one of North America's most elaborate tree canopy walks.

The project – completed by Philadelphia-based Metcalfe Architecture & Design, where Goldblatt has worked since 2002 – recently earned the Excellence in Exhibition Design award from the American Association of Museums at its recent annual meeting in Los Angeles. The entries for the competition came from museums large and small, reflecting the vast array of museum types, including art, history, children's science, zoos and aquariums.

The judges cited "Out on a Limb" as "imaginative, exciting and innovative. This exhibition succeeds in combining kids' desire for adventure and parents' interest in safety into a fun sense of perceived danger. Highly worth a visit to see!"

"Out on a Limb" is environmentally sustainable and brings to the fore people's relationship with nature. Visitors can cross a swaying suspension bridge to the Bird's Nest, scamper onto the Squirrel Scramble's rope-netting skirting two towering trees, head to the top of the Wissahickon Vista platform for sweeping views, or just wander along the canopy walk rising high above the forest floor.

The Morris Arboretum, located in the Chestnut Hill section of Philadelphia, is a 92-acre horticulture display garden that features a spectacular collection of rare and mature trees and colorful gardens. Picturesque spots include a formal rose garden, swan pond, elegant fernery, sculpture and fountains. The Morris Arboretum is listed on the National Register of Historic Places and is the official Arboretum of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.

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