What I Learned At The Rockford Arboretum
I can't even begin to guess how many times I've driven by this place and never noticed it. In fact, I had never even heard of such a place until getting stuck in traffic. After a spontaneous drive-through this weekend I learned why I had never heard of it.
Before a quick tour of the land, I will tell you I was disappointed in the lack of benches, playground, and garbage cans. With that being said, let's take a look at this Rockford
gem. (Sorry. It's not a gem.)
The previous photo is facing Mulford Road for the arBOREtum's entrance, located between Guilford and Spring Creek Roads.
You might not notice it's actually a thing because of the gravel road, but it's there.
This really long and narrow path seems endless. You'll hope another vehicle will not approach you from the other direction because there isn't even room for two cars. But trust me, it's not likely to happen.
Further down the road is something that will tell you to figure out a way to turn around because you're wasting your time.
I'm not 100% sure if this building is on the Rockford Arboretum grounds. Judging by the rusting half-standing fence, I'd guess it isn't. Either way, it's creepy.
We're almost the actual park... err, arboretum.
I figured this will be the path that would to awe and inspiration... but it wasn't. There were a few interesting things in this place, though. I'm not talking about a random t-shirt, fireworks shells, and an empty old beer can, either. Three things stuck at in the grassy area. Two of them made me feel like a jerk...
This tree did not. It is ginormous, though, and must be very old. I'm not a tree expert.
And here is a marker on a boulder near the really small parking area.
Now, I am starting to feel like a jerk. What I think is a meaningless park has significance to employees of Rockford Park District - like this memorial of past RPD staff.
Let's go further into the area and read the text on another boulder about 30 yards away.
Yup, I'm a jerk for thinking this gift of land to Rockfordians (which is what I am) is lame.
The gift really is thoughtful, though. And I'm not being facetious, I really think it could be a cool place. But, as it stands today, it puts the 'bore' in "arboretum." And, before anyone assumes, I LOVE Rockford parks. I grew up with Atwood Park practically in my backyard. I take my kids Rockford park, take random drives through our parks, and pay for our parks. This one is just not on my list of places to return to.