Parking fees to replace admission charge at Matthaei Botanical Gardens
In a move that will make admission to Matthaei Botanical Gardens' Conservatory free, and align the gardens with standard U-M admission and parking practices, the conservatory fee will end and a U-M parking-kiosk system will be installed.
Matthaei Botanical Gardens is the only U-M museum to charge admission, and one of the few U-M departments to offer free parking.
The change will begin Jan. 9. Parking will cost $1.20 per hour, the university's standard rate.
The good news: Members will continue to park free, and visitors who previously paid to enter the conservatory will see their costs significantly go down. For example, a family of two adults and two children on a two-hour visit would pay $2.40 to park compared with $14 admission to the conservatory.
Additionally, all monies collected for the meters will support Matthaei Botanical Gardens & Nichols Arboretum.
Associate Director Karen Sikkenga says the change will create greater financial stability for Matthaei and Nichols as it replaces a less stable revenue source — admission fees — with a more reliable one.
"We encourage everyone to visit Matthaei and the conservatory next winter," Sikkenga says. "The conservatory especially is a perfect spot to escape a snowy Michigan winter for a few hours."