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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.