The University of Michigan

Contact Person: April Pickrel

Brief Description

The "Arb" is located on 123 acres of glacially carved terrain in Ann Arbor that varies from steep ravines, to rolling hills, to prairie. A variety of guided tours are available—or come and enjoy nature or conduct lessons of your own!

Available Tours

Community Exploration
Squish through the wetlands, explore an Appalachian rhododendron glen, peer over the big blue stem in the tall grass prairie, or climb uphill for a view of the oak hickory forest. Participants will gain an understanding of the components of a plant community and community succession.

Imagine Life as a Native American
Travel back in time to a way of life that depended on the plants growing nearby. Would you be able to find an alternative to Hawaiian punch? On this tour you will discover some of the wild natural foods and medicinal plants living in Nichols Aboretum.

People Tracks
Participants become detectives as they investigate the tracks and clues left by humans who both improve and harm Nichols Arboretum. Discover for yourself the various ways humans interact with this environment.

Let's Leaf it at That!
What is a leaf? a stem? a bud? Does all bark look alike? The different parts and functions of a tree are revealed in this hands-on tour where we count tree rings, dissect big sticky buds, feel "camouflage" bark, and sniff some aromatic trees.

Develop keen observation skills. Learn the personalities, quirks, and individuality of trees. Younger participants pair up matching twigs and leaves, while the more mature use a specially created key to identify and introduce themselves to selected trees in the Arb.

For a listing of specific guided tours, see Docent-Guided Nature Tours.

Tour Length: 30-60 minutes

Related Careers: Botanist, Biologist, Ecologist, Environmentalist, Landscape Artist


Group Size: 3-60

Age Level: All Ages

Interests: Ecosystems, Trees, Plants, Flowers, Nature, Animals

Other: General enjoyment of the outdoors

Public Access: AATA bus stop nearby.

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