The History of the Cora Hartshorn Arboretum and Bird Sanctuary
The Cora Hartshorn Arboretum and Bird Sanctuary was started in 1923 by Cora Hartshorn. Cora Hartshorn was the daughter of Short Hills founder Stewart Hartshorn. She started the Arboretum and Bird Sanctuary on a 16 acre tract of undeveloped woodland in Essex County, New Jersey.
Cora Hartshorn designed a system of roads and approximately three miles of walking paths through woodlands of beech, dog wood, tulip trees and oaks. In 1933, the “Stone House” section of the building was completed using stone and oak from Hartshorn quarries and land.
In 1958, Cora Hartshorn donated the Arboretum to the township of Short Hills under the condition that the Arboretum would remain a public park.
The Trails and Grounds
There are approximately 100 species of New Jersey native wildflowers at the Cora Hartshorn Arboretum and over 40 varieties of trees. Some of the highlights of the grounds include a 100 year old tulip tree, an 80 foot umbrella magnolia and a natural amphitheater created by glaciers
The Arboretum was renovated in 2007, adding a modern kitchen and lab facility, a bird observation room and office space.
Programs at the Cora Hartshorn Arboretum
There are many educational programs and opportunities available at the Cora Hartshorn Arboretum. Educational programs are available for all age groups, children as well as adults.
The after-school and one-day programs are designed with age appropriate activities that encourage a love of nature.
Official Monarch Butterfly Tagging Site
Monarch butterflies range from southern Canada to northern South America, and are known for their lengthy annual migration. The monarch butterfly migration begins in August until the first frost. It is the only butterfly to migrate both north and south as birds do.
The yearly migration of the monarch butterfly actually takes several generations of butterflies, as their lifespan is typically only about two months.
Membership of the Cora Hartshorn Arboretum and Bird Sanctuary
Arboretum membership is required to participate in all programs and helps provide support for both the educational programs and the maintenance of the Arboretum’s grounds.
Membership dues are $15.00 for seniors, $25.00 for individuals and $50.00 for a family membership.
Membership to the Cora Hartshorn Arboretum and Bird Sanctuary includes subscription to the bi-annual newsletter, ArborItems, as well as priority registration for children’s programming at the Arboretum.
Planning a Visit to the Cora Hartshorn Arboretum
The Cora Hartshorn Arboretum and Bird Sanctuary receives approximately 17,500 visitors annually. Many of these visits are field trips from local schools.
The Stone House Education Center at the Cora Hartshorn Arboretum is open Monday through Saturday. Monday through Friday, the hours of operation are 9:00 am – 5:00 pm. On Saturday, the hours of operation are 10:00 am – 5:00 pm. The Stone House Education Center is closed on Sundays and holidays.
The trails and grounds at the Cora Hartshorn Arboretum are open during daylight hours, year round. Dogs are not permitted on the trails or grounds of the Cora Hartshorn Arboretum.
To schedule a visit to the Cora Hartshorn Arboretum, call their office at (973) 376-3587. The Cora Hartshorn Arboretum and Bird Sanctuary is located at 324 Forest Drive South, Short Hills, NJ 07078.