With harsh Michigan winters rolling in, Whiting Forest in Midland, Michigan has to make some changes to accommodate the weather. In the summertime, the hours for the canopy walk are pretty consistent and reliable since the weather and temperature are more mild. Winter storms can bring ice, snow and dangerous cold temperatures. With these factors, it can create a slippery and unsafe environment.
“Our number one concern is the safety of people,” grounds manager for Whiting Forest Charles Martin said. “We’re always evaluating how safe it is. So, when there’s snow and ice we will close down, just so that people are safe because we definitely don’t want anybody slipping.”
Keeping the public updated is also another priority of the gardens. When there is a change in whether the grounds are open or not, the website and social media are kept up to date.
“We try to have interest year round,” Martin said. “With flowers changing in the summer, apple trees with lots of fruit in the fall, and lots of flowering plants and trees in the spring.”
Even though winter can sometimes seem like a drag, Whiting Forest and Dow Gardens have some events to keep people enjoying the different seasons. On Jan. 25, they are offering a Hive Building Workshop.
“We have a few events happening this winter,” Martin said. “Like the hive building, but most of our events are for when the weather is better. People enjoy being outdoors and, we’re trying to make it an outdoor experience.”