The first time I visited the arboretum was in the first few weeks of my freshman year. It was for my first year writing course, a class on the environment called “Lessons Through Deep Time” through the Residential College. We took field trips throughout the semester to see real-life applications of the ideas we were reading about, and in that first visit we talked about the glacial patterns that formed it and the Huron river, the diversity of species there and looked at topographical maps of the area from hundreds of years ago.
Although I may not remember all the details about the types of rocks and landforms that make up this special area of nature in the middle of our campus, I still think about my first trip there as an introduction to what would later become one of my favorite spots on campus. The overall serenity in the arboretum is one unknown to most other locations in Ann Arbor, and it gives students a natural safe-haven to hammock, picnic, float down the river or simply stroll. I’m excited to see it as a spot for socially-distanced reunions for students returning to campus next month.