Friday, March 24, 2017

April 2017 Nature Education Programs at Matthaei Botanical Gardens

A list of April 2017 programs offered by the non-profit and mission-related groups at Matthaei Botanical Gardens & Nichols Arboretum.

Mon., April 3, 7 pm
Easy Herb Garden Ideas
Presenter: Herb Study Group
Herb Study Group president and advanced master gardener Madolyn Kaminski discusses some easy herb garden ideas and shows participants how to make moth-repellent sachets using herbs. Madolyn will also be giving away herb seeds on a first-come, first-served basis.

Wed., April 5, 7 pm
Looking to the Future - Ann Arbor Garden Club
Karen Sikkenga, Associate Director for Matthaei, and Joe Mooney, Marketing Manager, will discuss future expansion opportunities for the AAGC. The dialogue will include popular program topics, the importance of advertising, and reaching out to other garden organizations in the community.

Tues., April 11, 7 pm
Helpful Hive Management Tips and Techniques
Presenter: Ann Arbor Backyard Beekeepers
Mike Risk, president of the Center of Mich. Beekeepers club, discusses hive management. Program also includes a presentation on Integrated Pest Management and a discussion about what to do with the laying worker bee.

Wed., April 12, 6-7:30 pm
Catching Your Breath
Presenter: MI Alzheimer’s Disease Center
A free monthly program for caregivers of adults with memory loss. Designed for learning skills for continued health and well-being. Info and to register: 734.936.8803.

Thurs., April 13
Ikebana: Japanese Flower Arranging
Presenter: Ann Arbor Ikebana Intl. Chapter
Create your own seasonal Ikebana arrangement with guidance by a certified instructor. Cost: $20 which covers flowers and instructor. Reservations required. Info:  a2ikebana@gmail.com.

Sat., April 15, 11 am
The Blue Orchid
Presenter: Great Lakes Judging (Orchids)
A presentation by Great Lakes Judging Center accredited judge Alex Challis on the Vanda coerulea, an orchid from India and southeast Asia that’s also called the blue orchid or blue vanda for its striking bluish-purple color.

Tues., April 18, 7:30 pm
Climate Change & Its Effect on Health
Presenter: Sierra Club Huron 2017, Valley
We observe differences in the environment as our climate is changing, but what outcomes can we anticipate with respect to our health? For an opportunity to think through the issues, join us and Citizens’ Climate Lobby volunteers Robbi Duda and Larry Junck as they lead us through a discussion of the jeopardy that we face as our climate heats up.

Sat., April 22, 1–4 pm
Annual Dahlia Tuber Sale
Presenter: Michigan Dahlia Association
Also includes a video on growing and caring for dahlias and free dahlia-care literature. Info: 734.429.5796.

Wed., April 26, 6:30–9 pm
Bonsai Group Planting
Presenter: Ann Arbor Bonsai Society
David De Groot illustrates and discusses placement and balance, perspective, branch arrangement, and single species or mixed plantings, followed by the creation of a group planting. De Groot served for 25 years as curator of the Pacific Rim Bonsai Collection/Pacific Bonsai Museum in Federal Way, Wash.

Thurs., April 27, 6– 9 pm
Hinoki Cypress Workshop
Presenter: Ann Arbor Bonsai Society
David De Groot leads this workshop on hinoki cypress. Participation limited to 8-10 people. This workshop is intended for intermediate to advanced participants. Cost to participants: $120. Registration through the Ann Arbor Bonsai Society: aabonsaisociety@gmail.com.

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

A Green Light for Shared-Use Trail at Matthaei Botanical Gardens

Construction begins March 2017 on a paved hiking and biking trail connecting the University of Michigan Matthaei Botanical Gardens with a network of trail systems throughout the area. The trail provides an important non-motorized link from the botanical gardens to Washtenaw County’s Parker Mill Park, with connections to the regional Border-to-Border Trail, the local Gallup Park pathway, and beyond.

The trail also provides a safer travel route that parallels but avoids Dixboro Rd., a busy Washtenaw County artery with a narrow shoulder inadequate for safe biking or walking. As it makes its way to Parker Mill Park, the two-mile path crosses parts of the botanical gardens, Radrick Golf Course, and the grounds of the U-M Adventure Leadership Program. The project is scheduled to be completed at the end of 2017.

The trail (marked in green) connects Matthaei
Botanical Gardens with the Washtenaw County
Border-to-Border trail system (in purple) and to
other trails and destinations locally and beyond.
When finished the new trail will also expand on existing non-motorized connections to University of Michigan and St. Joseph Mercy Hospitals, University of Michigan Central and North Campuses, Eastern Michigan University and Ypsilanti, Concordia University and Washtenaw County Community College, as well as public transportation to these destinations.

“The Arb and Gardens, the Adventure Leadership Program and Radrick Golf Course are united in valuing the environmental and personal health benefits of being outdoors,” says Karen Sikkenga, associate director of Matthaei-Nichols, “and nonmotorized transportation connections to U-M’s campus are central to Matthaei Botanical Gardens’ strategic goals. Currently more than 140,000 visitors each year carpool, ride a bike, or drive a car to get to Matthaei. The new trail will allow them to leave their cars safely behind.”

Sikkenga says that the idea for the trail came to her as she detoured on her bike through Radrick Golf Course one morning after Dixboro Rd. temporarily closed for repaving in 2013. But the trail concept isn’t new, she adds. “A Dixboro Road trail project had been explored prior to 2005, but it stalled when the various parties couldn’t agree on the details.”

This time, all the parties agreed. Trail construction caps a multi-year collaboration between the University, state and local agencies, businesses, and individuals. The trail travels over land owned by the University of Michigan, which granted an easement for the project. Washtenaw County Parks, Southeast Michigan Council of Governments, and Michigan Department of Transportation together provided more than $2,5M for the trail construction. In addition to these grants, over 125 individuals and businesses contributed almost $800K toward the trail.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

2017 Ann Arbor Orchid Festival at Matthaei Botanical Gardens March 18 & 19

2017 Ann Arbor Orchid Festival
Presented by Ann Arbor Orchid Society &
Matthaei Botanical Gardens & Nichols Arboretum

March 18 & 19, Matthaei Botanical Gardens
1800 N. Dixboro Rd.
Ann Arbor, MI 48105

Join us for one of the most popular events of the year - the annual orchid festival. Free admission.

This year’s festival includes:
  •         Orchid displays
  •         Orchid raffle
  •      Orchids and related items for sale from orchid vendors
  •         Free presentations and demos on orchid growing

Show hours: 
                       Sat., March 18: noon-4:30 pm

                       Sun., March 19: 10 am-4:30 pm

                       Sales open 10 am both days

                       Photographers’ hour: Sun., March 19, 9-10 am

Photos of last year's orchid festival (photo credit: Michele Yanga):

Thursday, February 16, 2017

Matthaei Botanical Gardens & Nichols Arboretum Member Survey Results

Thank you for taking time to complete our member survey. Four hundred members completed the survey. Below are survey highlights. We hope you find them as illuminating as we do!

Our members are loyal and trend somewhat older:
  • Nearly a quarter of respondents have been members here for 11 or more years;
  • 80% of respondents are 46-85 years old;
  • 82% say they are very likely to renew their membership (yay!).
Events, free parking, students, and environmental stewardship are important to members:
  • Nearly 55% say events such as Shakespeare in the Arb, plant sales, and exhibits are important or very important to them;
  • On a scale of 1-5, an equal percentage of respondents (18.2%) think our community and non-profit programming is not important (1 on the scale) and very important (5 on the scale);
  • Nearly 52% think free parking for members is very important;
  • 55% say discounts on tickets, gift store purchases, and plant sale purchases are important or very important;
  • Nearly 88% say our conservation and environmental efforts are important or very important;
  • 59% say our work with and connections to U-M students are important or very important;
  • 58% say matching member benefits at other participating gardens are important or very important.
Our members also told us what they think about our communications with them:
  • A print newsletter as a membership benefit is not important for 21.7% and very important for 15.4%; 28% feel neutral about the print newsletter;
  • Asked which means of communications they prefer to learn about what’s happening here, an equal percentage (34%) say they rely on the print newsletter and the e-newsletter;
  • 53% say they prefer a print newsletter; 47% say they prefer a digital newsletter.
Our members love the Arb but are frustrated by the parking situation:
  • Of 90 people who answered the optional question “Why haven’t you visited Nichols Arboretum?” 52 answered “parking,” whether lack of or difficulty finding parking.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

What's Happening at Matthaei-Nichols - March 2017

Looking to learn something new about nature and the environment? Check out our March calendar offerings from the nonprofit groups that meet here regularly.

All programs take place at
Univ. of Michigan Matthaei Botanical Gardens
1800 N. Dixboro Rd.
Ann Arbor, MI 48105
Programs are free and open to the public unless noted otherwise in the listing.
* Fee-based programming
Wed., March 1, 7 pm
Ann Arbor Garden Club
Garden Club members will explore the topics of Korean gardening and Korean cuisine, container gardens, and landscaping with flowering bushes for its March and April programs.

Mon., March 6, 7 pm
Herb Seed Giveaway
Presenter: Herb Study Group
Herb Study Group president and advanced master gardener Madolyn Kaminski hosts this giveaway of herb seeds that includes handouts on seed starting and choosing transplants. Seeds are given out first-come, first-served.

Thurs., March 9
* Ikebana: Japanese Flower Arranging
Presenter: Ann Arbor Ikebana Intl. Chapter
Create your own seasonal Ikebana arrangement with guidance by a certified instructor. $20 which covers flowers and instructor. Reservations required. Info:  a2ikebana@gmail.com.

Mon., March 13, 10-11:30 am
Catching Your Breath
Presenter: MI Alzheimer’s Disease Center
A free monthly program for caregivers of adults with memory loss. Designed for learning skills for continued health and well-being. Info and to register: 734.936.8803.

Tues., March 14, 7 pm
Biodynamic Beekeeping
Presenter: Ann Arbor Backyard Beekeepers
Cindy Schroeder of A2B2 talks about biodynamic beekeeping, a natural beekeeping approach that treats the colony as a unit rather than as separate parts. Also, “The Hour of Decision,” documentary about a beekeeper who devotes
his life to saving the honeybee.

Wed., March 15, 7:30 pm
Dead Birds (...for Science!)
Presenter: Washtenaw Audubon Society
In order to save birds, we need to save their habitats. But birds have wings, can't read maps, and don't stay where they're safe. So how can we create a more bird friendly world beyond parks and refuges? 
In this talk, Hedie Trudell focuses on window collisions and how to prevent them and uncomfortable topics such as wind farms, cats, and where birds go when they die.

Sat. & Sun., March 18-19; hours: noon-4:30 Sat.; 10 am-4:30 pm Sun.
Ann Arbor Orchid Festival
Presenter: Ann Arbor Orchid Society
A two-day orchid extravaganza with orchid displays, orchids in bloom, and regional commercial vendors. Tropical and hardy orchids and orchid-growing supplies and related items for sale. Free informational talks and demos. Info: aaosonline.org.

Mon. March 20, 7:30 pm
DNA - Just Why Are So Many Plant Names Changing?
Presenter: Michigan Botanical Club
A presentation by University of Michigan Herbarium assistant director Tony Reznicek.

Tues., March 21, 7:30 pm
Local & Long Distance Osprey
Presenter: Sierra Club Huron 2017, Valley
Ospreys in southern Michigan have made an incredible comeback, from zero nests to 60+ in less than 20 years.  Barbara Jensen, of Michigan Osprey, will guide us through the process of hacking nestlings in the late 90s to the current satellite imaging of juvenile migration.

Wed., March 22, 6:30–9 pm
Things I Didn’t Know as a Bonsai Beginner (50 Years Ago)
Presenter: Ann Arbor Bonsai Society
A presentation by Jack Wikle, a long-time member of the Ann Arbor Bonsai Society and a nationally respected bonsai artist who pioneered the technique of raising bonsai indoors under fluorescent lights.

Sat., March 25, 1–3:30 pm
2017 American Dahlia Society New Dahlia Introductions
Presenter: Michigan Dahlia Association
A video presentation on new introductions at 1 pm; auction of society members’ 2017 dahlia tubers at 2. Free dahlia-growing handouts. Info: 734.429.5796.

Monday, February 13, 2017

Pardon Our Dust! Construction notices for Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum

Two important construction projects are taking place at the Arb and the Gardens winter 2017. At Nichols Arboretum, a sewer rejuvenation project is underway. At Matthaei, we're building a wheelchair-accessible ramp near the entrance to the front lobby hallway. Read below for details:

Nichols Arboretum Sewer Rejuvenation Work 
January 3-March 24, 2017 

The City of Ann Arbor is performing much-needed work on several aging and outdated sanitary sewer lines in the Arb this winter. The rejuvenated lines will address the changing sanitary sewer needs of Ann Arbor and help to better protect the Huron River and the Arboretum’s delicate ecosystems. While the Arb will remain open during the work, some paths will close temporarily to accommodate the project. Please take note of signs and notices in and around the work area.

How this may affect your visit to the Arb: 

• Work will begin on or around Tuesday, January 3, 2017 and last through March 24.
• East Medical Center Dr. and Nichols Drive into U-M parking lot M-29 will not be affected.
• Please note areas in red and pink on map below. These are work locations, mostly along the Arboretum portion of Nichols Dr., that will be affected.
• Some roads and pedestrian paths will close intermittently as the work progresses. Occasional construction traffic along Nichols Dr. in the Arb will also occur. Please be aware of signage and barricades indicating closed trails.
• Questions? Contact Mike Nearing, Senior Project Manager, mnearing@a2gov.org: 734-794-6410 ext. 43635. Our apologies for any inconvenience as this important and necessary work progresses.

Map of Arb sewer work:

Matthaei Botanical Gardens Accessible Ramp Project
Through mid-March, 2017 

Construction of a long-awaited accessible ramp at Matthaei started in early January 2017. In order to begin the project, contractors sealed the area at the end of the hallway that runs between the west lobby and the front lobby/information desk. That cut off travel between the hallway and the front entrance.

The good news: when the ramp is finished, visitors in wheelchairs or those who would otherwise have difficulty negotiating the stairs by the lobby will no longer need to enter the building via the sidewalk along the front of the building to visit the conservatory or the Garden Store.

While the ramp is being built, all visitors to Matthaei will need to walk along the front of the main building and enter through the front doors to reach the conservatory. The main hallway at Matthaei is still open during the project. All staff offices can be reached via the west lobby.

The ramp is scheduled to be done by mid-March.

Thursday, February 2, 2017

Call for Art - Spring 2017 Artisans Market at Matthaei Botanical Gardens

Call for Art
Mother’s Day Weekend Artisans Market
Saturday, May 13, 9 am - 4:30 pm
University of Michigan
Matthaei Botanical Gardens
1800 N. Dixboro Rd.
Ann Arbor, MI 48105

Application Deadline March: 12,  11:59pm
Notifications: March 20
Seeking artists to display and sell their work at Matthaei during our annual Mother’s Day Weekend Plant Sale. What are we looking for? Unique crafts, art, or something in between in a variety of media. Last spring artists offered ceramics, jewelry, paintings, note cards, photography, illustrations, sculpture, and more. Think fresh, springy, mom- and nature-focused arts and crafts.
Booth size options:
$30 full size 8’x30”
$20 half size (full size split by two people) 4’x30”
Need more than a table? Enhance your booth with extra merchandising touches. Supplies limited.
  • Easel - $2 each
  • White table cloth - $5
  • A 4" table (only 2 available) $15

Payment(s) due after acceptance. Instructions for payment will be sent to you and payment is expected within a week of acceptance.

Please read our FAQs

If there wifi?
Yes! you may use it to process credit cards

What is the table size?
A full size table is 8'x30".  You may also apply for a half table,  for $20. Unless you specify a person to split the table with we will pair you with someone. Full sized tables have the option of adding on a 4'x30" table that can be used for $15.  These can be requested but are not guaranteed.

Can I split a table with a friend?  
Yes! The total cost for a split table is $40, so $20 each.

Is this inside?

Where will I park?
After unloading you will park in our overflow parking lot, about a 7 minute walk from the building.  We will have a golf cart available to shuttle you to your car if you need it.
If you have concerns about the parking please let us know in the application, we are happy to make accommodations.

Can I have two booths? This will be determined on a case by case basis but due to the limited space it is unlikely. You may ask to add the extra 4' table or 8’x30” floor space but due to limited availability it is not guaranteed.

Do chairs cost extra?

Will you have table sitters?
No, please plan accordingly.

Is there a place to keep food?
Yes, there is a kitchen right off of the auditorium that you can use to store and heat food.

Will there be coffee available?  
Yes, we will have complimentary coffee, tea, and water available to vendors.

Do I have to stay from 9:00am to 4:30pm?
Yes, we want all of our visitors to have a great experience and so we ask that you commit to this time frame.

I see that members receive 10% off the plant sale from 9am to 10am, does this include my items?
No! You will not be asked to discount your items and there will be signs informing members that this is the case.