There’s a buried treasure in Lansing, buried in the concrete and glass of the central business district, buried yet sprouting from the cool, surprising earth: Cooley Gardens. Planted almost a century ago, they remain a delight to all who discover them.
Cooley Gardens were designed by noted landscape architect, Edward H. Laird in 1938 from land donated to the city by Eugene F. Cooley and dedicated to “the horticultural education and pleasure of garden lovers.”
Cooley was a well-to-do industrialist and the gardens stood in his then affluent neighborhood but, as times changed, so, too did the city. The neighborhood and gardens slowly fell into decline and it looked for a while as if Cooley Gardens might be lost. And so they would have been but for a group of concerned citizens who formed the “Friends of Cooley Gardens” group and began the restoration and maintenance of the gardens in the 80’s – work they continue to do.
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