The University Record, July 30, 1997

Matthaei Botanical Gardens trails popular

While Matthaei Botanical Gardens plans for future expansion and physical improvements, its four trails remain popular with students who study plants and insects and with birdwatchers hoping to spot a newcomer to the area or a long-time resident in the trees, marsh or undergrwoth. Others come just to enjoy being surrounded by nature, whether following Fleming Creek or exploring the bogs, ponds, wildflower gardens, prairies, dry hills and floodplains incorporated into the trails. And others, such as Leroy Kart, Norm Jones and Chuck Fisher (photo at right), tramp the trails in search of the perfect photo.

Among the changes planned for the 250-acre Gardens is an ethnobotanical trail that will feature the plants used by this area's Native Americans for food, fiber, shelter and crafts. The theme of humans' interaction with nature will be continued in a redesign of the Gardens Conservatory, which will focus on the plants native to and used by various members of the world's cultures. From a Japanese garden to gardens native to the Mediterranean, the paths through the Conservatory will allow visitors to travel the globe without having to pose for a passport photo. Photo by Bob Kalmbach