The University of Michigan Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum

parking and conservatory admission at matthaei

Parking at Matthaei

We've transitioned from a Conservatory admission fee to a standard U-M parking system in the Matthaei lots.

    This relatively modest change in our operations resulted in several benefits.
  • significantly lower costs for anyone wishing to enter the Conservatory. A family of two adults and two children on a two-hour visit, for example, would pay only $3 to park versus $14 admission to the Conservatory;
  • our members continue to park for free;
  • every dollar of parking fees supports Matthaei-Nichols;
  • the parking fee helps offset the loss of Conservatory admission.

For more information see the FAQs below.

Parking FAQs

Q: What is the parking program?
The program is based on a University parking operation with central pay kiosks. Parking is on an hourly basis. There is no Conservatory entrance fee; all visitors may go into the Conservatory at no cost.

Q: Can I use my University of Michigan parking permit (blue, yellow, etc)?
No. Ours is not a permit lot.

Q: How much does parking cost?
The University’s standard rate, $1.60 per hour, with a maximum $5 daily rate.

Q: Who needs to pay?
Everyone except members, who park for free.

Q: Why are we doing this?
Because paid parking is standard at the U-M - while museum admission fees are not - the parking revenues will be more reliable over the long-term. Just as important, the parking fees collected will offset the loss in Conservatory admissions, and all parking monies will support Matthaei-Nichols.

Q: How do the kiosks work?
Members enter their parking space and member number (located on the membership card) at a kiosk. The member ID validation is active for the selected parking spot for the time you select. To ensure that you are not rushed, please add more time than what you think you may need. For all others, the kiosks accept credit cards and coins, and change will be dispensed at the front desk.

Q: Can I use my membership ID number to validate parking at Nichols Arboretum or other University parking lots?
Unfortunately, no. Your member ID number will only work at the parking kiosks at Matthaei Botanical Gardens.

Q: What if I've forgotten my membership card?
If you've misplaced your membership card, please phone 734-647-7600 or visit the Matthaei Botanical Gardens front desk to have your ID number looked up or to request replacement cards.

Q: What are the hours of enforcement?
8 a.m. to 8 p.m. seven days a week. Parking free on the days we are closed: New Year's Eve, Thanksgiving, Christmas Eve Day, and Christmas Day.

Q: When will the change occur?
The parking system is now active.

Q: How are parking rules enforced?
U-M's Department of Public Safety is responsible for parking enforcement, and citations are administered (like all U-M parking tickets) by the City of Ann Arbor.

Q: Where are the kiosks be located?
There are two kiosks: one near the wayfinding sign at the front of the building, and the other is next to the sidewalk at the end of the west portico.

Q: How will the parking revenues be used?
We are fortunate to be able to use the parking revenues to benefit Matthaei Botanical Gardens & Nichols Arboretum directly.

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