Ann Arbor Observer cover
Mixer Playground at Fuller Park. Collage by Brenda Miller Slomovits.
Ann Arbor Weather:
Sunday August 19, 2018
Follow us: facebook twitter RSS feed
>> AnnArborObserver.com >> City Guide >> Recreation >> U-M Nature Areas

City Guide

U-M Nature Areas


Bookmark and Share

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. Docent-led tours can be arranged. Classes, workshops, family activities, and other special events. Trails and natural areas. 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, insulated by forest and landform. Gardens include the largest collection of antique and heirloom peonies in North America, which bloom each year in early June about the time of the Arb's annual Shakespeare productions; the Centennial Shrub Collection, with fragrant early-blooming lilacs and other shrubs; and rhododendrons in the shady, restful Heathdale Collection. The Arb's riverfront is a popular spot for a picnic. 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 is owned and operated by the U-M's School of Natural Resources and Environment and is used primarily for field study and research. It consists of several forest plantations dating back to 1904, has long been used for testing forest management techniques, and provides excellent wildlife habitat. 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. snre.umich.edu/facilities/saginaw_forest




You might also like:

Tea Angels
Fake Ad: July 2018
Jay Forstner
One-Ring City
Cycling where the peddling's easy
Douglas Kelbaugh
Childcare And Preschool Programs in Chelsea
Transit Vote
AAATA asks voters to renew and restore.
James Leonard
Ministry Through Glitter
Tanya Luz paints Ashley St. pink.
Sabine Bickford
Below Zero
Why does a home designed by Frank Lloyd Wright have forced-air registers in its Cherokee-red floor?
Sue Maguire
Photo: Daddy Robin.
La Taqueria Is Open at Last
After a "ten-month rollercoaster" with the city
Sabine Bickford
Photo: Daddy Robin.
PFC News
"She loves the co-op more deeply than anyone we've had in many years," says Jaime Magiera.
Eve Silberman