By Joseph Mooney
The Matthaei Botanical Gardens is featuring an exhibit in the conservatory and throughout the main building in honor of its 50th anniversary. The exhibit, “Celebrating 50 Years on Dixboro Road,” opens Feb. 25 and runs through April 8. Admission is free.
With photographs and interpretation the display offers views of the construction of the Botanical Gardens’ buildings in the early 1960s; highlights a selection of the special historical plants from those days that still grown in the conservatory; and reveals how the Botanical Gardens has benefited and engaged faculty, students, members, visitors, and volunteers throughout the years for research, teaching, learning, and enjoyment.
The 1957 gift of 200 acres of land by Regent Frederick Matthaei, Sr. and his wife, Mildred Hague Matthaei, inspired their dream of a university botanical gardens “second to none in this country.” A half century later, Matthaei Botanical Gardens continues to fulfill that dream, building on the past and branching out to the future.
As stewards of this beautiful place, the Botanical Gardens celebrates 50 years on Dixboro Road and the Matthaeis’ vision for a garden. Since those early days, the Botanical Gardens has grown into a treasure for the University and for the community.
The exhibit features historic views of the buildings under construction; interpretation of special plants in the conservatory; highlights of research by Mojtaba Navvab, associate professor of architecture; spring bulb and flower display; and, an invitation to record and share your memories of Matthaei Botanical Gardens in words, images, or photographs.