BGSU Firelands in Huron, Ohio, is the home of the James H. McBride Arboretum, a partnership between Erie Metroparks and Bowling Green State University, designed to develop and demonstrate horticultural and natural landscape elements that provide opportunities for education, enrichment, and enjoyment for all who would come. Officially formed in 1983, the arboretum is named after Dr. James H. McBride, the first Dean of Firelands College. Dr. McBride and his wife Margaret saw the potential for a beautiful arboretum at this site as early as the late 1960's when the campus was first dreamed of as a community college and then officially founded.
The McBrides' believed that, with over 250 acres of total land owned by the college and with only about a third of that ever likely to be developed for the college itself, the remaining land should be beautified for the edification, enjoyment, and education of all who would come.
Today, McBride Arboretum is home to over 200 species of flowers, trees, and shrubs. Most species are native to the Firelands area. We also feature several restored prairie plots, with plants faithful to the original area prairies. Asphalt walking paths of about a half mile surround the three lobes of our Parker Lake, while many trails will guide the willing hikers down into the forested areas along Sawmill Creek. Beautifully landscaped gardens dot the premises, loaded with annuals and perennials. This hidden gem offers year round beauty. The entire area is family friendly, but we urge parents to keep a sharp eye on youngsters near the waters. Absolutely no swimming or skating is permitted on the lakes. As always, we urge our visitors to leave the premises as they found it. We hope you enjoy!