Thursday, April 21, 2016

Observatory Street Construction Reroutes Summer Arboretum Parking and Traffic

April 21, 2016

Visitors who drive to Nichols Arboretum this summer will need to take a slight diversion as water-main construction begins in early May on Observatory Street, and Washington Hts. becomes a two-way street. As a result, parking meters on Washington Hts. will go away for the duration of the repairs.

The four dedicated Arboretum parking spaces currently located on Washington Hts. near the entrance to the Arb will move to the U-M blue lot M95 (see map below with arrow) across the street from the Arboretum entrance. 

University of Michigan M95 parking lot
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University of Michigan Hospital P2 parking structure.

If you visit the Arb and park in one of these spaces you’ll need to get a hang tag from Matthaei-Nichols staff in the lower level of the Arboretum Visitor Center at the Arb entrance. You’ll definitely need that tag to park in one of the in M95 spots as parking enforcement regularly patrols on central campus. There’s also an option to park during the day before 5 pm in the University of Michigan Hospital P2 parking structure located on E. Medical Center Dr. Parking in the hospital structure costs $2 for a stay of four hours or less. (See map for location of P2 structure.)

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Phase 1 construction May-June 2016
Vehicle access to Washington Heights will change over the summer as well.  During Phase 1 of the project (May-June), drivers can access Washington Hts. and the Arb from either E. Medical Center Drive or the Geddes end of Observatory. Additionally, the “T” intersection of Observatory and E-Medical Center will be closed during Phase 1. (See map of Phase 1.) 

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Phase 2 construction July-August 2016

During Phase 2 (July-August), the west end of Washington Heights (the “T” intersection of Washington Hts. and Observatory) will be closed and vehicle will only have access to Nichols Arboretum from E. Medical Center Drive. (See map of Phase 2.)

Foot traffic to the Arb via Observatory and E. Medical Center Dr. will remain open during both construction phases.

Visitors to the Arb are encouraged to walk, bike, or take public transportation as much as possible. University of Michigan blue buses are free and Ann Arbor Transportation Authority (The Ride), offer several routes with stops very close to the Arboretum.

For more information on public transportation options visit theride.org and the U-M’s bus ride and schedules web page.

Monday, April 18, 2016

Sierra Club Huron Valley Chapter Presents: Climate Change in Ann Arbor: Adaptation and Mitigation

What can one Midwest city do in response to serious threats that climate change poses to the local environment, economy, and livelihoods? Matt Naud, Environmental Coordinator for the City of Ann Arbor, will describe programs that are in place to prepare for unavoidable climate changes that result in greater extremes of heat and cold, precipitation, and potential periods of drought that are anticipated in coming years. Matt will include an update from the MDEQ on the 1,4,dioxane plume that is moving toward Ann Arbor’s water supply.

 Sierra Club Huron Valley Group

Tuesday, April 19, 7:30 pm

Matthaei Botanical Gardens
1800 Dixboro Road, Ann Arbor

Free and open to the public

Friday, April 15, 2016

Walking for Well-Being - The Positive Role of Nature in Human Health

A talk by Melissa Marselle, University of Salford, U.K.

Thursday, April 28, noon-1:30 pm,
James D. Reader, Jr., Urban Environmental Education Center,
University of Michigan Nichols Arboretum
1610 Washington Hts., Ann Arbor (across from C.S Mott Hospital)

Mental health and well-being are considered fundamental to an individual’s quality of life. Yet mental disorders are increasing. The World Health Organization predicts depression will be the second greatest cause of ill health, globally, by 2020. An expanding catalogue of research suggests that interaction with the natural environment contributes to mental well-being, such as restored concentration, enhanced positive mood and self-esteem, and reduced feelings of negative mood, depression, and stress.

Dr. Melissa Marselle, a research fellow in the School of Arts and Media at the University of Salford, U.K., discusses the role of the natural environment in human health, and the benefits gained from group walks in nature. Dr. Marselle will also explore the effect that different types and qualities of the natural environment have on well-being. Event is free; no registration required.

Dr. Melissa Marselle
Dr. Melissa Marselle is Research Fellow in the School of Arts and Media at the University of Salford, U.K. Melissa is an environmental psychologist with over 10 years’ research experience investigating human-environment interactions. She has broad research experience, having worked in projects as diverse as the World Trade Centre evacuation, design against crime, soundscapes, and the health benefits of natural environments. Her research article on well-being and group walks in nature is the most read in the journal Ecopsychology. Melissa is a Chartered Psychologist of the British Psychological Society.

Monday, April 11, 2016

Garden Club of American Awards Bob Grese Honorary Membership

It’s been a year of professional accomplishments for Matthaei Botanical Gardens & Nichols Arboretum director Bob Grese. In late 2015 the provost’s office approved Bob’s third term as director. Now, the Garden Club of America (GCA) has awarded Bob an honorary membership. The GCA is the first national federation of American garden clubs, with 200 member clubs and over 18,000 members across the country. Established in 1913, GCA has long championed the conservation and study of our nation’s rich heritage of designed landscapes and gardens. Generations before these needs became evident to most citizens, the GCA spearheaded many pioneering efforts to document and steward significant heritage sites—and create endowments to allow their continuity and study.

The decision by the Garden Club of Michigan to nominate Bob was unanimous, says Mary Roby, who has served as President of the Michigan club and also as a Director of the Garden Club of America. “Bob is a most outstanding individual in the many paths his life has taken,” notes Mary. “His work in landscape design, leading to becoming an authority on Jens Jensen and studies of ecological landscape design, are so important.”

Bob says he’s thrilled to be given honorary membership in the Garden Club of America and to be associated with such a prestigious group of leaders in horticulture and conservation. “I have long been familiar with the club’s support of students studying horticulture, landscape architecture, ecological restoration, and other aspects of plant science and conservation,” he says. “Many of my own students over the years have been supported through these scholarships—often at a critical moment in the student’s time at the University.”

As an honorary member Bob's in good company this year, sharing the stage with honorary members Doug Tallamy, Professor and Chair of Entomology and Wildflife Ecology at the University of Delaware; and Kris Jarantoski, Executive Vice President and Director of the Chicago Botanic Garden.

Friday, April 1, 2016

Quilt judging for works in “A Cloth of Earth and Sky”

On March 26, 2016 University of Michigan faculty and staff gathered at Matthaei Botanical Gardens to view and judge the quilts in the exhibit “A Cloth of Earth and Sky: The Healing Power of Nature through the Eyes of African American Quilters.” The judges convened and discussed the evaluation criteria they used, with several scoring models on hand.  These included:

·         How the quilts fit to the exhibit theme (“the healing power of nature”);
·         How the quilts express the artists’ statements (when a statement was provided);
·         Artistic creativity;
·         Technical craftsmanship appropriate to the artistic engagement.

About the judges and the review process:
Judging took place on Saturday, March 26, 2016. The judges were:
·         ·         Marianetta Porter, Professor of Art & Design, UM Penny W. Stamps School
          of Art and Design.

·    Martha Jones, Presidential Bicentennial Professor, Arthur F. Thurnau Professor of History, Afroamerican and African Studies in the College of Literature, Science and the Arts and Affiliated Faculty, Michigan Law School.
·      Debbie Taylor, Assistant Director of the Women in Science and Engineering, College of Engineering
·      Karen Simpson, Student Account, Financial Operations.
·       David Michener, Associate Curator, Matthaei Botanical Gardens & Nichols Arboretum, UM Museum Studies (clerk).


Best in Show: Thorn in My Side, Greens in My Pot
April Shipp
Best in Show
April Shipp, Thorn in My Side, Greens in My Pot
This quilt is exquisite. It is sculptural and complex – and as stunning up close as it is from a distance. Every detail is considered. The sense of dandelion and its powers is evoked – fitting tribute to a folk and healing ‘walk-over-medicine’. The statement is almost poetic and unites untold generations.

Best Fit to Theme
Carolyn Bunkley, Mother Earth
Best Fit to Theme
Carolyn Bunkley, Mother Earth
We love the story and its presentation in the quilt. The intergeneration teaching is personal yet universally understood. Powerful!

Honorable Mention,
(alphabetical order)

Honorable Mention:
Theadra Fleming, 
Bouquet of Flowers
Theadra Fleming, Bouquet of Flowers
Beautifully composed – all the elements and techniques are integrated into a complex harmony. The chevroned borders are a meticulously executed complement. Masterful – and well-tied to the artist’s powerful statement.

Honorable Mention
Shirley Phillips-Horne, Flowers of Life
Shirley Phillips-Horne, Flowers of Life
Stunning – it’s hard to imagine composing this piece, which is so evocative of an Impressionist painting.

Honorable Mention,
April Shipp, 

April Shipp, Ancestree

Remarkable and profound. Powerful spiritual symbols including the bottle tree, shells, and Sankofa. Respectful homage to ancestors and healing nature.

Honorable Mention – Youth

All three of the Student entries.

The judges expressed their gratitude and thanks to all the quilters for their impressive works, many of which will long live in our memories.