Dear Friends and Neighbors,

Last week our beloved Nichols Arboretum was impacted by intense storms that swept through our region. As the Director of Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum, I feel it is essential to reach out to you and provide an update on the situation.

The storm’s damage was profound, resulting in many fallen trees, debris scattered throughout the property, and structural damage to various sections of the arboretum. The intense winds exacted a heavy toll, leading to the loss of nearly a hundred full-grown trees. These towering sentinels, which have graced our landscape for decades, have left a void that is deeply felt and we mourn for their loss.

Nichols Arboretum has always been more than a collection of trees and pathways. It’s a space where moments of reflection, research, understanding, and connection unfold – a place to connect to something larger than ourselves. While the scars of this event will remain visible for years to come, they’ll continue to be met by our shared commitment to honor and preserve the Arb for future generations.

As we reopened Nichols Arboretum to the public, we did so with a renewed sense of purpose. We understand that the journey to restore Nichols Arboretum’s full splendor will not be without its challenges. The loss of these trees is a poignant chapter in our history, but it is also an opportunity to shape a new narrative – one of renewal and growth.

Stay connected with us through our official communication channels – including our website and social media platforms – for ongoing updates and information about our progress. Together, we will write the next chapter of Nichols Arboretum’s story—one of resilience, reflection, and the enduring connection between nature and community.

For those who may have tributes in the Arb, we understand that you may have questions about the status of your tribute. Rest assured, we are committed to providing you with updates as soon as we are able. The cleanup process is extensive, and we will communicate with you individually once we have a clearer understanding of the situation and can provide more concrete information about the status of your tribute.

Thank you for being the heart of the Nichols Arboretum community. Your support, understanding, and hope are the foundations upon which we will rebuild.

With determination and warm regards,

Tony Kolenic
Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum 

A little free library stands intact next to two broken trees and a fallen tree in front
A boardwalk pulled p from a falling tree roots pulling up under it
two people work to clear fallen trees from a path in the arb