S.E.E.D.
Society for Educational Environmental Development
Green Tree Nature Center


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Green Tree Nature Center
Entrance at the corner of Crestmont Drive and Hillcrest Avenue

The Nature Center was once owned by Dr. J. Clifford and Marguerite Murdoch. Marguerite Murdoch cultivated the land and planted in it every kind of tree that was native to Pennsylvania, creating not only a wonderful nature preserve, but a historical record of the types of trees throughout the state all in one place.

The Murdochs sold the 11-1/2 acres of their land to the school district for $38,000 in 1961 with the understanding that the school district would be responsible for its upkeep. The Green Tree Civic League approached the school district in 1970 about acquiring the land. The Keystone Oaks School District was hesitant about parting with the land because of the uncertainty of school population growth. However, after several petitions and meetings, the school district agreed to sell the property to Green Tree Borough for $1 with a stipulation that the property be maintained by S.E.E.D. in conjunction with the Borough.

The Green Tree Nature Center, S.E.E.D.'s favorite stomping grounds, is over 18 acres of unspoiled land situated in the middle of Green Tree. This unique setting provides respite from the hustle and bustle of suburban living, without ever leaving the area!

The Nature Center was once owned by Dr. J. Clifford and Marguerite Murdoch. Marguerite Murdoch cultivated the land and planted in it every kind of tree that was native to Pennsylvania, creating not only a wonderful nature preserve, but a historical record of the types of trees throughout the state all in one place.

Spring Nature Walk


Green Tree Nature Center
Saturday, April 25
9:00 a.m.
Meet at the Nature Center entrance

Sponsored by S.E.E.D.
Rain date: April 26 at 1:00 p.m.

The Murdochs sold the 11-1/2 acres of their land to the school district for $38,000 in 1961 with the understanding that the school district would be responsible for its upkeep. The Green Tree Civic League approached the school district in 1970 about acquiring the land. The Keystone Oaks School District was hesitant about parting with the land because of the uncertainty of school population growth. However, after several petitions and meetings, the school district agreed to sell the property to Green Tree Borough for $1 with a stipulation that the property be maintained by S.E.E.D. in conjunction with the Borough.

The Borough purchased an additional 6-1/2 acres of adjoining land called the Witherspoon Property for a small sum of money with the agreement that the land would be used as a park. This created the 18 acres Nature Center that visitors are familiar with today. The Witherspoon property is where the Nature Center sign can be seen on Greentree Road.

Other types of plants also abound throughout the Nature Center. Ferns are prevelant, but there are May apple, wild strawberries, and several types of ivy (...and yes, poison ivy is one of them, so beware!). The Nature Center also has an abundant supply of the jewel plant, also known as water weed or touch-me-nots.

In addition to the wide variety of plants, flowers and trees in the Nature Center, visitors can sometimes spot animals that most people would not expect to find in a suburban setting. Ringneck pheasants, wild turkeys, salamanders, owls, deer and fox are just some of the animals that call the Nature Center home. A natural spring and stream also traverse the property.

Nature Center BridgeOver 25 different trees, a dozen diverse shrubs, and a number of different varieties of vines and wildflowers can be found at the site today. Many footpaths and trails are conveniently situated in the Center providing easy access to most of the natural scenes, although some slopes within the Nature Center may be steep. Borough resident Seth Mangini built a new footbridge over a ravine at the Nature Center in 2001 for his Eagle Scout Badge. The Borough is working in conjunction with S.E.E.D. to continually improve the Nature Center while maintaining the natural beauty of the land.

Dogs on a leash are permitted in the Green Tree Nature Center. Please be sure to clean up after your pet!

An unusual area to be found in the middle of a developed suburban area. The Green Tree Nature Center has retained a natural part of yesteryear through foresight and forward thinking. Come enjoy one of Pennsylvania's hidden gems right here in your own backyard!

For more information about the Green Tree Nature Center or S.E.E.D., the community group who maintains the area and provides guided nature walks, please call the Green Tree Borough Office at (412) 921-1110.

S.E.E.D. (Society for Educational Environmental Development)

Nature Center Photo Gallery