A wee bit of England transplanted to Germantown
The entrance to Awbury, the former Cope family estate, transports visitors from city streets into a country retreat that is the largest remaining oasis of open space in Germantown.
Trails weave through 55 acres landscaped in the English romantic style, with open meadows, ponds, woods and rolling hills. Clusters of trees are interwoven with open space to create picturesque vistas and visual contrasts, from the Victorian kitchen garden behind the Francis Cope House to English Park and Haines Field, where you can enjoy remarkable specimen trees.
The Copes lent their Quaker sense of aesthetics to this world-class arboretum; in 1870, they hired William Saunders, designer of the Capitol grounds in Washington, D.C., to bring their vision to fruition.
After Henry Cope, a wealthy Quaker shipping merchant and philanthropist, built his stone Gothic summer estate in 1852, his family loved it so much that they – and succeeding generations – moved here year-round. As the area became increasingly urbanized after WWI, the Cope family deeded the property to the City Parks Association to preserve the landscape and the family homes.
Open daily year-round.
Down by the springhouse and pond, meet the State Champion River Birch (Betula nigra). It is a standout among the 140 species of trees here, some over 100 years old.
Keep kids of all ages busy counting frogs down at the pond.
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