Hidden Lake Gardens is moving into phase two of its re-opening starting June 17, 2020. Limitations and restrictions will remain in place as to comply with six-foot physical distancing and closed indoor public gathering spaces. Our grounds and trails will be open for visitors on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Fridays, and Saturdays, from 9 am to 12 pm. Only walking, hiking, and driving through are permitted. All buildings will be closed. Restrooms will be closed. No professional photography is permitted. Physical distancing of 6 feet must be practiced at all times. No food, picnics, or tailgating is permitted. Woodland Drive and Arboretum Road will be open to vehicles for a drive through. Please help us to keep Hidden Lake Gardens open by following these guidelines to keep you, other visitors, and our staff safe. Thank you.
Hidden Lake Gardens is owned and operated through Michigan State University. While Governor Whitmer’s executive orders continue to lighten as the COVID-19 pandemic continues to evolve, HLG must also comply with policies and guidelines from MSU as well as the Lenawee County Health Department. Currently very limited HLG staff are able report for work. Also, we are not able utilize our wonderful and very helpful HLG volunteers.
While HLG has park-like qualities and benefits, it is not a park. It is a public botanical garden, arboretum, and conservatory. We have three nationally significant plant collections: the Harper Collection of Dwarf and Rare Conifers, the Benedict Hosta Hillside, and the MacCready Bonsai Collection. Public gardens with plant collection policies, accessioned plant inventories, and educational programs are considered part of the public museum network, and hence, so is HLG. A quick online search will reveal that many public gardens and museums remain closed indefinitely. A few gardens and arboreta have re-opened with very limited access (some for members only, others by appointment only). MSU is working with HLG in studying the current public garden trends and benchmarks in an effort to remain contemporary with other public gardens in providing visitor access during this incredibly challenging time.
Hidden Lake Gardens is unique in that most of our operating budget is funded through various endowments as well as revenue from gate admissions, membership dues, gift shop sales, education programs, and donations. Very little HLG revenue is funded through the MSU operating budget. Being completely closed to the public since March 24 means that we have seen no revenue generation from visitors. We also had to cancel our May 8th and 9th plant sale which is our largest annual fundraiser. So being closed to the public is not in our best budgetary interests whatsoever.
HLG considers itself a valuable educational and recreational resource and attraction for Lenawee County, southeast Michigan, and the Great Lakes region. We will continue to do our part in working with the leaders and complying with the authorities in subsiding this pandemic and reopening our region – all in due time. We ask for your continued patience, understanding, and support at a time when patience and understanding for many are being stretched incredibly thin.
Reach for the Sky
Coming in 2020, Reach for the Sky will include construction of a 10-story, ADA-accessible tree top tower and 700-foot canopy walk. This one-of-a-kind contemporary attraction will bring both local residents and traveling tourists, while contributing to the cultural setting of the Lenawee, Jackson, Hillsdale and Washtenaw County communities.
Watch an animated video of the Canopy Walk experience