Fernwood Botanical Garden and Nature Preserve

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Fernwood Botanical Garden and Nature Preserve
PA210029 Fernwood NP Pond Autumn 2005.JPG
Pond scene at Fernwood in late autumn.
Map showing the location of Fernwood Botanical Garden and Nature Preserve
Map showing the location of Fernwood Botanical Garden and Nature Preserve
Location within the state of Michigan
Location Lower Peninsula, Buchanan Township, Michigan USA
Nearest city Niles, Michigan
Coordinates 41°51′55″N 86°20′48″W / 41.86526°N 86.3466°W / 41.86526; -86.3466Coordinates: 41°51′55″N 86°20′48″W / 41.86526°N 86.3466°W / 41.86526; -86.3466
Area 105 acres (42 ha)
Established 1964
Governing body Fernwood, Inc. (non-profit)

The Fernwood Botanical Garden and Nature Preserve, 105 acres (42 ha), is an arboretum, botanical garden, and nature preserve located at 13988 Range Line Road in Buchanan Township, Michigan. It is open to the public daily Tuesday through Saturday plus Sunday afternoons. An admission fee is charged.

The Garden is located on the St. Joseph River and contains landscape gardens (8 acres), woodland nature preserve (50 acres), an arboretum of trees and shrubs from temperate regions around the world (40 acres, started in 1971), and restored tallgrass prairie (5 acres, started in 1976), as well as a conservatory (greenhouse) featuring more than 100 kinds of tropical ferns.

The landscape gardens include a Japanese "dry" garden designed by Mr. Ben Oki (1979), a hosta garden with dawn redwood and Ginkgo, a tufa rock garden started in the 1950s, a fern garden with more than 50 types of hardy ferns, a boxwood garden, a lilac garden (1940s), a lily pond (1977), and an herb garden featuring over 200 types of herbs.

Fernwood originally began as the home of Kay and Walter Boydston, who purchased its first 12.5 acres (51,000 m2) in 1941, and became a public garden in 1964 through the efforts of Lawrence and Mary Plym. Additional land purchases have increased the site to 105 acres (42 ha), providing space for the arboretum, prairie restoration, and newer gardens.

The nature center displays exhibits about the ecosystems and animals of Fernwood and items of seasonal interest, as well as live animals including an active beehive and local reptiles and amphibians. Environmental education programs are offered year round.

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