The University of Michigan Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum
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Arb Parking Tip
Free street parking spaces are sometimes available on Oswego St. near the Arb's Geddes Street entrance.
Click here for a map.
Summer is a great time to visit the spectacular Gateway Garden of New World Plants at the Botanical Gardens. The ornamental plants in this garden are originally native to the Americas.
Check out the bloom calendar.
study spots
Looking for a location to hold a group meeting? We have some of the University's best study spots.

Clean Water Trail

Download the self-guided tour, take a walk, and learn about erosion control and how storm water runoff is managed on the Nichols Arboretum Clean Water Trail.

Pavement pollutes!
The more concrete and asphalt we add to our environment the dirtier our water becomes. Thatís because as it rains, water hits impervious surfaces like concrete, flowing across our sidewalks, down driveways and through streets into storm drains. As the water runs down pavement, it picks up anything in its way: trash, motor oil, pesticides, even dog poop. From there, the water and whatever it has collected travels straight into our creeks and rivers and on into the Great Lakes.

Without storm drains every city would be in danger of floods, but drains help contribute to water pollution. Unlike in a city sewer system, the water that travels through storm drains is not cleaned. Both systems operate on separate channels underneath the city. All sewage water goes directly to a plant for treatment while water from storm drains does not. For example, if a cigarette butt is swept into a storm drain in Ann Arbor, it will end up somewhere in Lake Huron. There is no program to treat storm water.

Everyone can help clean our water. Decrease impervious surfaces around your home.
Having fewer impervious surfaces will improve drainage around your home and in your yard. Landscape with vegetation, gravel, or other porous materials instead of cement. Install wood decking instead of concrete, and use interlocking bricks and paver stones for walkways. Redirect rain gutters and downspouts to soil, grass, or gravel areas. Planting vegetation at lower elevations than nearby hard surfaces allows runoff to seep into soil instead of into storm drains.

Clean Water Trail is at the Nichols Arboretum.

For more information on how you can help support the Clean Water Trail, please contact our director of development Gayle Steiner: gayles@umich.edu; 734.647.7847.

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