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McMichael Park was founded in 1929. The 5.9-acre park is named after Morton McMichael, the Mayor of Philadelphia from 1866 to 1869, and the first President of Philadelphia’s Fairmount Park Commission from1867 to 1879.
With nearly 200 trees, and over 50 different varieties, the park was awarded ArbNet level 1 arboretum status in 2023. Boasting many interesting varieties, it is the enormous White Ash that stands out upon entering the park. Nearly 100 years old, this is one of three Ash trees in the park which were inoculated by the City of Philadelphia and saved from the emerald ash borer. The park also contains two very large Franklinias, a rare tree variety that went extinct in the wild only to be cultivated in Philadelphia and propagated by the famous botanist John Bartram. William Bartram, his son, named the tree the Franklinia after his father’s close friend, Benjamin Franklin. One of the park’s favorite trees with the children is our Weeping Copper Beech, which sits on the perimeter of the park, and its long, beautiful branches provide the perfect hiding spot. This tree was planted by one of the members of the Friends of McMichael Park, which, since 1992, has worked in conjunction with the Philadelphia Department of Parks and Recreation to maintain the health of this neighborhood gem.