Leila Arboretum is located in Battlecreek, Michigan. It's a place with a lot of history! Battlecreek is known as "cereal city" because cereal was first invented there by Dr. Kellogg in 1894. The Leila Arboretum dates back to 1922, when Leila Post Montgomery, wife of the big cereal businessman, C. W. Post (of Post cereal), donated 72 acres of land to the city. In 1924, landscape architect, T. Clifton Shepherd, designed the gardens.
There is a wonderful one-acre children's garden that you'll want to visit, if you have kids. It features five different sections. The first is the Healthy Me garden. It has a big red bowl filled with various salad vegetables. A huge spoon and fork stick up out of the bowl. There are also four mini gardens surrounding the bowl: a pizza garden, a spa garden (growing in a bathtub), a top 10 veggies garden, and an healing herb garden.
There's a Cereal Bowl garden that tells all about the history of the city, and how cereal is made. The Four Winds garden was designed by local Potawatomi Indians, and it gives the Indians' plant and color representations of the four directions, North, South, East, and West. One of the most popular features is the Rain and Shine Friends/ABC garden. It features a giant balloon (pictured above) where kids can step inside and pretend that they're soaring over the gardens. There's also a feature where kids can be a human sundial. I really like the ABC garden. There are plants for every letter of the alphabet. Finally, there's a Cupola Science Plaza where kids can learn about how plants contribute to science.
Leila Arboretum is open daily from dawn to dusk. Admission is free.