River Bend Gardens was established in 2019 by Wayne & Julie Oliver as a private botanical garden, aviary, and retreat for their family of five children.
The property was selected for its unique combination of natural features, and is located in Washtenaw County, 15 miles Southwest of Ann Arbor, in the Village of Manchester. The gardens are situated on 65 acres with a half mile of frontage on the River Raisin, and adjacent to the South and West with the Leonard Preserve, a 259-acre property owned by Washtenaw County’s Natural Areas Preservation, and The Nature Conservancy.
While the restoration of native plant communities on the property can be followed on Wayne’s blog, the gardens are not currently open to the public. It is Wayne & Julie’s aspiration that someday, if they are successful creating gardens people might enjoy, they would eventually accept visitors by appointment only.