Some colleges are lucky to have either a botanical garden or arboretum located on or near their campus, however the University of Michigan has the great fortune of having both within walking distance of campus. The Matthaei Botanical Gardens which is nearly 250 acres is located just off of campus but close enough to walk to and the Nichol Arboretum, commonly referred to as the “Arb,” 125 acres, is on central campus. Both the Gardens and the Arb are associated with the University.
Joseph Mooney the Marketing Director for both the Gardens and Arb described them both as, “places where people can escape from the nearby urban environments and engage with nature.”
The Arb offers a place in the center of campus for students to be immersed in a naturalistic landscape while studying and meeting up with fellow students. The Botanical Gardens offer a large conservatory that contains three different climate zones. There is the Tropical House which has a tropical climate that features blooming flowers all year round; Warm Temperate House that has climates similar to the Mediterranean and West Asia; and finally the Arid House which has similarities to desert climates. This is an obviously desirable location for studying in the winter as students are battling the harsh Michigan winters.