Wednesday, October 24, 2012

City Water Soon to Be a Fixture at Matthaei Botanical Gardens

Visitors to Matthaei lately have encountered big trucks, earth-moving equipment, and the beep of back-up signals mingling with bird calls. It's all for good, as contractors and workers this October have been busy hooking the Gardens up to city water.

First, contractors had to bore under Dixboro Rd. to reach the water main located on the west side of the street. That work is now finished and we await the final pressure and sanitation tests for a green light to hook the city water up to the building plumbing.

When that happens, the Gardens will benefit from some much-needed fixture upgrades, including new drinking fountains with fill stations; dual flush toilets; new sinks and faucets; new sink and counter top in the kitchen off the main hallway; and more. There will also be three fire hydrants installed along with a required fire service road in the back of the facility.

Difficult to say exactly when the work will be completed but certainly this fall and likely by the end of November.

Stay tuned, and stop by for a sip of our new water and a look at the makeover!

Friday, October 5, 2012

The Art of Nature

This weekend, students in “Landscape as Environmental Media” (Natural Resources & Environment 587) are creating art installations at Matthaei Botanical Gardens. The installations will be up through next week (10/8) at least. Some of the students on the teams worked as summer interns and caretakers at Matthaei Botanical Gardens & Nichols Arboretum. Posters and models explaining the work are on display in the west lobby at Matthaei. Don’t miss these fascinating---and ephemeral---studies that make use of our landscapes as a canvas for examining the elements of nature.

Group 1: Inside Out: Explores the idea of bringing indoor elements outdoors. Location: Willow Pond Island. Students: Dan Buckley, Emily Gehle, Sydney Johnson, Robert Primeau, and Nolan Sandberg.

Group 2: Leafy Paths: Inspired by the paths that leaves and seeds take as they fall to the surfaces of water. Concentric circles symbolize the ripples that leaves and seeds create when they touch the water. Location: Sam Graham Trees and Trail; bridge across Fleming Creek just north of the trail pavilion. Students: Chen Lu, Lumin Wang, Angela Cesere, and Peter Widin.

Group 3: Erosion Unraveled: Shows the history of erosion along the southern end of Fleming Creek that runs along Sam Graham Trees Trail. Location: Sam Graham Trees and Trail, near rock vanes in Fleming Creek. Students: Jenny Hebert, Oren Brandvain, Ying Li, and Robert Cabral.

Group 4: Embedded Life: Spheres painted in plant-inspired hues signify the plants and creatures that create the diversity of the meadow. Location: Sam Graham Trees and Trail overlook/council ring. Students: Sarah Brey, Li Chen, Sarah Clark, Chang Yan.

Group 5: Milkweed Pods: A tribute to the common milkweed, an iconic symbol of our native ecology. Location: Sam Graham Trees and Trail, just north of entrance drive. Students: Lizzy Baskerville, Amy Motzny, Sam Sikanas, and Lauren Yelen.