Join us and become a Friend
With over 700 acres of outdoor gardens, trails, nature preserves, children’s areas, and the largest University-owned conservatory in the United States, Matthaei-Nichols has a wealth of opportunities and benefits for Friends members.
Plan to explore our trails, outdoor gardens, and conservatory with unlimited free parking at Matthaei. Be inspired by creative gardening ideas in our educational displays and member preview events. Learn a new skill or take a class with one or more of the many gardening, horticulture, or environmental groups that meet here throughout the year. Turn your yard into a botanic haven with special access to and discounts at our plants sales and Garden Store events. Receive benefits at our partner gardens and arboreta when traveling. Plan on coming back again and again – you’ll love it here!
Please note for 2016: The IRS has ruled that gifts made via credit card are deductible only in the year the bank processes the transaction. To be processed by year-end, credit-card gifts must reach U-M by Dec. 16.
Core Member Benefits
Use the unique Friends number on your membership card at the Matthaei parking kiosks and receive free unlimited parking when visiting or attending events. Request a temporary membership card and ID number when visiting Matthaei. Your permanent membership card and ID number will be sent within 2-3 weeks from your online gift.
- Friends Newsletter and E-news Subscription
Learn about news, events, and classes in our print newsletter mailed to you three times annually and in monthly emails. See previous issues of the Friends newsletter here
Matthaei-Nichols participates in the American Horticultural Society's Reciprocal Admissions Program (RAP). RAP offers free admission and/or additional benefits at 300 gardens throughout North America and the Cayman Islands. Download the current Reciprocal Membership Brochure
or visit the American Horticulture Society
website for more information. Please email the Matthaei-Nichols membership coordinator
with any questions.*Benefits vary. Please check reciprocal benefits before visiting partner organizations.
- Friends Previews and Pre-sales
Connect with fellow Matthaei-Nichols Friends members at annual preview and pre-sale events like the Spring Plant Sale Breakfasts, Peony Sale, Shakespeare in the Arb performances, Native Plant Sale and Holiday Open House. Friends members know first!
- Shakespeare in the Arb Ticket Reservation
Use the Friends Online Box Office to reserve tickets to any Shakespeare performance up to noon of the performance day. Look for details and news on this benefit each spring.
- Special Friends discounts
10% discount at the Garden Store
10% discount at annual plant sales (20% during Early-bird Hours)
10% discount on gift memberships
$5 discount on Shakespeare in the Arb tickets for adult members
Discount on Run for the Arb registration
10% discount at Old House Gardens Heirloom Bulbs
of Ann Arbor
Your Friends membership is a tax-deductible donation to the University of Michigan. A confirmation letter from the University of Michigan Office of Development will be sent to you within 2 weeks of your gift.
For Family Tree Friends members and above
- Youth and Family Activity Passes
Family Tree level members and above receive six free passes
to our Saturday Youth and Family classes. Check out our current classes and pre-register here
. Programs run throughout the year and vary by season. Pre-registration is required.
- Discount on Birthday Parties
Celebrate a child’s birthday at Matthaei with a special room rental and guided activity. Family Tree members and above receive $65 off rental packages. Learn more about our birthday rentals here
For Sustaining Friends members and above
Join the curator, director, and other Matthaei-Nichols staff for an annual reception, tour, and presentation on special projects and research at Matthaei-Nichols. Your invitation is waiting!
Join expert Matthaei-Nichols staff for seasonal hikes and tours of our gardens, collections, trails, natural areas, and behind-the-scenes areas. You’ll learn about unique ecosystems, native wildflowers, and more.
ROAM where you want to! Use your Matthaei-Nichols Friends membership to receive benefits at ROAM partner museums and cultural centers. Visit the ROAM website
for a full list of our partner museums. Please call the partner organization you plan to visit for details on the benefits they offer.
For Director’s Circle Friends members
Join our Director for an annual reception and presentation of current and future projects at Matthaei-Nichols. Be a part of the discussion and help lead our future. Past events have included lectures, dinners, brunches, and outdoor receptions.
Make your membership renewal process easier by breaking your Friends membership into easy monthly installments through an electronic fund transfer (EFT) or UM Staff Payroll Deduction.
The monthly giving plan helps Matthaei-Nichols save valuable resources that would otherwise go into printing and mailing renewal letters. We're about saving tress after all!
Set up a recurring gift by downloading the authorization form at UM Leaders and Best Giving Website, filling it out, and mailing it to the Gifts and Records address on the form. With questions, call our membership manager at 734-615-9475.
University of Michigan Staff and Faculty may set up an easy payroll deduction on Wolverine Access. Find payroll deduction instructions here or use the mail-in form.