The rankings and ratings for each garden were assessed on a points system which awarded gardens for not only having a wide and manicured variety of plant species, but also for categories such as previous awards won, conservation and education, having a connected university degree program and 'Wow' factors.
MSU's gardens among best in the U.S.
"I was certainly pleased and excited when I found out," Curator of the W. J. Beal Botanical Garden and Campus Arboretum Frank Telewski said. "I think it's a wonderful recognition for what botanical gardens can do for a university."
The W.J. Beal Botanical Garden is a 5-acre garden located on MSU's campus located just north of Red Cedar River. It first opened in 1873 and contains more than 1,800 different taxa of plants. In addition to this, one of its main functions is to serve as an outdoor laboratory and living classroom for students.
The garden is also free to public and is a common place for people of the MSU community to spend some time.
"We take our bikes and go on a bike ride and come down here," said 1979 MSU alumnus and Grand Ledge resident Lois Sanderson. "I love (these gardens) ... I spent a lot of time here in the gardens when I went to school ... I would sit here and read and just enjoy being down here."
MSU's other garden recognized on the list -- Hidden Lake Gardens -- is an off-campus garden located in Tipton, Mich. It is currently celebrating its 70th anniversary and consists of 755 acres of botanical gardens and arboretums.
Telewski said it's an honor to have not only one, but two gardens recognized on the list. He also said he hopes this kind of recognition will allow MSU to reflect and improve upon their gardens when comparing them with others recognized across the country.
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