About John Bartram Association

JBA Mission and History

“…the Botanick fire set me in such A flame as is not to be quenched untill death or I explore most of the South western vegitative treasures in No. America.” John Bartram, 1761.

The John Bartram Association’s mission is to protect and enhance the landmark Bartram’s Garden and House, advance the Bartram legacy of discovery, gardening and art, and inspire audiences of all ages to care for the natural world.   The Garden is a 45-acre National Historic Landmark, operated by the Association in cooperation with the City of Philadelphia.

John Bartram (1699-1777) was a Quaker farmer lit with a “Botanick fire” that, over time, made him America’s first great botanist. His lifelong passion for science began when, as a boy, he looked closely at local wildlife and read every book he could find. Bartram was blessed with profound curiosity and energy. So he set himself a staggering goal, make a compleat Discovery of the Native Growth in America.

Inspiring the same passion in visitors is a priority of Bartram’s Garden and a key goal in our ten year Strategic Plan.  Since 2007, we have been on our own journey of discovery, getting feedback from many sources about our programs and engagement.  It has resulted in a vision of a revitalized Garden, with active use, compelling stories, and a meaningful impact on its community.