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Thursday November 21, 2019
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U-M Nature Areas


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U-M Nature Areas

Matthaei Botanical Gardens, 1800 N. Dixboro. (734) 647-7600. The gardens' spacious conservatory has a room with tropical plants, including award-winning orchids and striking bromeliads; a central greenhouse with plants of warm-temperate climates, a bonsai exhibit, and an exhibit of insectivorous plants; and a desert house with a collection of cacti and other desert plants, including several giants that make news with their rare periodic blooms. A formal bonsai garden, medicinal garden, a Great Lakes Garden of native plants, a children's garden, wildflowers, perennials, herbs, and shade-loving and New World plants are found in the gardens outside. The surrounding 350 acres are crisscrossed by walking trails and feature mature woodlands, wetlands, several ponds, and a tallgrass prairie. Outdoor gardens and trails open daily year-round sunrise-sunset. Conservatory and garden shop open seven days a week: Mon., Tues., & Thurs.- Sun. 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Wed. 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Summer hours (mid-May through Labor Day): garden shop, conservatory, main building, and display gardens, daily 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Free admission to grounds and conservatory (parking $1.70/hr. for non-members, 8 a.m.-8 p.m.; $5 max per day). mbgna.umich.edu

Nichols Arboretum, 1610 Washington Hts. (734) 647-7600. One of Ann Arbor's most popular spots for more than 100 years, this preserve (part of it owned by the city) occupies 123 acres of land rising dramatically from the Huron River. The forests of the "Arb," crisscrossed by long, winding trails, include tree species from all over the world. Equally treasured are its prairie grasslands and peony garden, which blooms each year in early June about the time of the Arb's annual Shakespeare productions. Trails are free and open daily sunrise-sunset. The James D. Reader Center (1610 Washington Hts.) has restrooms, maps, guidebooks, and histories for visitors. Open seasonally and with expanded hours for peony season and Shakespeare in the Arb. Call for hours. mbgna.umich.edu

Saginaw Forest, 3900 W. Liberty. (734) 764-9316. This 80-acre woods on Liberty Rd. west of Wagner, owned and operated by the U-M's School for Environment and Sustainability, consists of several forest plantations dating back to 1904. Its path around Third Sister Lake is a favorite for walking dogs (on leash only) and cross-country skiers. Open to public to walk through from dusk to dawn. Parking available at 2|42 Church on Wagner. seas.umich.edu/research/field_research_sites/saginaw_forest




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