In 1962, Sunny Fields
was purchased by Elmer and Jane Horman. The property includes
40 acres, 30 of which were in grain, with 10 acres that remain
a beautiful forest of primarily beech, maple, and oak. It was
retired from farming, and the Horman family began tree planting,
including a modest orchard of “antique” fruit varieties. Their
son, Bill, began a collection of woody ornamental plants from
around the world as well.
mist on hiking trail
Bill spent 30 years
(1964-1996) as an employee of the City of Detroit Recreation
Department, Forestry & Landscape Division, Floriculture
Unit. He worked to grow, maintain, and display tropical foliage
and flowering plant material from the greenhouses on Belle
Isle in Detroit, Michigan. He became the city’s senior horticulturist,
and in 1987 he became a co-founder of the Belle Isle Botanical
Society, for which he still volunteers.
trail in May
By 1995, the Sunny
Fields property was purchased by Bill, who always hoped and
strived to make the property a unique botanical park. Under
his care, Sunny Fields has become a premier botanical park,
where visitors can enjoy its stunning collections and glimpse
occasional wildlife while wandering through peaceful, quiet
trails. Now, it is dedicated to the memory of his parents
and second-grade teacher and life-long friend Nelle Henry.
Sunny Fields is
a not-for-profit corporation; a 501 (C) 3 organization. As
a public charity, all contributions are tax-deductible.