October GreenBack group: Leila Arboretum Society

Leila Arboretum Society

Pay a visit to the Leila Arboretum Society in Battle Creek and you’ll be visiting a place dedicated to plants. Appreciation of plants, planting of plants, education about plants – it’s a peaceful, sprawling place that fosters wonder in children and green thumbs for adults.

The Arboretum was American 1’s October GreenBack organization. For each new member referred to us in October, we donated $2 to this “green” group. We had 114 new members referred, which means we gave a gift of $228 to the Society’s endowment fund.

Brett Myers gives the tour

Brett Myers, LAS’s interim executive director (above), gave me a tour of the Arboretum this week on a sunny, warm, picturesque fall afternoon. The Society works on repairs and databasing plants in the fall and winter, Myers said, and when I showed up he and several workers were replacing the plastic on top of the horticulture greenhouse, a 6,000 square foot facility dedicated to raising plants.

Myers said the Leila Arboretum Society has three main areas of focus: community beautification, adult and children educational programming, and the Arboretum’s stewardship.

The Arboretum

We drove around the Arboretum (above), a mile-long loop with walking trails and dedicated gardens.

“Some of these trees have been around since the 1920s,” Myers said. “The Arboretum is like a museum for trees.”

For its adult educational focus, LAS hosts a Master Gardner program, and has trained 1,000 Master Gardners over the years. For the kids, there’s the Children’s Garden, with areas like the “zoo garden” (where all the plants are named after animals) and the “ABC garden” (one plant for each letter of the alphabet). Since Battle Creek is the “Cereal City,” there’s a cereal garden with fruits, grains, and even a cow to represent the milk.

ABC Garden

LAS hosts school groups and garden groups, and features programming year round. Visit the Society’s web site to learn more about this fantastic organization.

There’s just two more months left in our GreenBack membership drive, so be sure and pick up a referral card. When you refer friends and family to American 1, you’re entered to win a $500 gas card.

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