The Slayton Arboretum at Hillsdale College: A Scenic Michigan Summer Destination


G. Stolyarov II

See Mr. Stolyarov's Index of Selected Writings, Originally Published on Associated Content / Yahoo! Voices.
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Note from the Author: This article was originally written in 2007 and published on Associated Content (subsequently, Yahoo! Voices), where it received over 800 page views. To preserve a record of my writings following the shutdown of Yahoo! Voices in 2014, I have given this article a permanent presence on this page. 

~ G. Stolyarov II, July 23, 2014

To enjoy one of the best showcases of Michigan flora and fauna, consider journeying to Hillsdale College's Slayton Arboretum this summer. The Arboretum is privately owned by the college and diligently maintained by its staff so as to remain consistently in a top-notch condition. Access to the Arboretum is free and open to the public. Exploring it or simply taking a break on one of the numerous benches and enjoying the scenery can account for many delightful hours of your summer day.

The Slayton Arboretum is a prime example of how beautiful nature can be when diligently taken care of by humans. Numerous ponds, small and large, have been made into excellent habitats for a variety of interesting creatures: frogs, colorful fish, and even turtles that are often visible through the clear waters. Hillsdale is home to a multitude of squirrels, gray and black; many of them enjoy the friendly environment of the Arboretum, and you might get a glimpse of these amusing creatures as they scurry about in search of food or perform acrobatic feats in the trees. North American red squirrels also make frequent appearances; they are smaller than the typical squirrel and incredibly adorable, certain to delight young children and animal enthusiasts in general.

It is easy to walk on the well-trimmed grass of the Slayton Arboretum, which is occasionally supplemented by stone-paved paths. The area might resemble a rustic or wilderness setting in some of its features, but in reality it was carefully designed to offer all the charms of such environments, with none of the inconveniences. The outer regions of the Arboretum -- the ones closest to the entrance and most readily accessible to the public -- most closely approximate a park or garden; the remoter parts are more rugged and remind one of a Michigan forest.

At the back of the Slayton Arboretum, directly forward from the entrance, is a magnificent elevation, with stone steps leading up to a prominent gazebo. For hours I have sat or stood there, overlooking the terrain below; this is an excellent place to visit with a book, camera, or portable board game. The gazebo offers a cool shade to protect from the summer heat, while enabling a remarkable panoramic view of the front of the Arboretum and the field beyond it. A second gazebo slightly to the side offers an excellent setting for small group gatherings. During the school year, Hillsdale College hosts various public events there, and a club of students even performs Shakespeare plays. In the summer, this area could serve as a wonderful place for a picnic with friends and family.

Other attractions in the Slayton Arboretum include the children's garden; as the name suggests, this is a feature designed to appeal to young visitors as they learn about plant and animal life. Classes, nature walks, and artistic activities for kids are held in the Arboretum during the summer. For a small fee or donation, children can learn about the beauties of Michigan flora and fauna from knowledgeable instructors.

During this summer, when nature is in full bloom, consider a visit to the Slayton Arboretum, where you can remain for hours among delightful scenery -- reading, walking, observing, and resting.

Gennady Stolyarov II (G. Stolyarov II) is an actuary, science-fiction novelist, independent philosophical essayist, poet, amateur mathematician, composer, and Editor-in-Chief of The Rational Argumentator, a magazine championing the principles of reason, rights, and progress. 

In December 2013, Mr. Stolyarov published Death is Wrong, an ambitious children’s book on life extension illustrated by his wife Wendy. Death is Wrong can be found on Amazon in paperback and Kindle formats.

Mr. Stolyarov has contributed articles to the Institute for Ethics and Emerging Technologies (IEET), The Wave Chronicle, Le Quebecois Libre, Brighter Brains Institute, Immortal Life, Enter Stage RightRebirth of Reason, The Liberal Institute, and the Ludwig von Mises Institute.

In an effort to assist the spread of rational ideas, Mr. Stolyarov published his articles on Associated Content (subsequently the Yahoo! Contributor Network and Yahoo! Voices) from 2007 until Yahoo! closed this venue in 2014. Mr. Stolyarov held the highest Clout Level (10) possible on the Yahoo! Contributor Network and was one of its Page View Millionaires, with over 3,175,000 views. Mr. Stolyarov’s selected writings from that era have been preserved on this page.

Mr. Stolyarov holds the professional insurance designations of Associate of the Society of Actuaries (ASA), Associate of the Casualty Actuarial Society (ACAS), Member of the American Academy of Actuaries (MAAA), Chartered Property Casualty Underwriter (CPCU), Associate in Reinsurance (ARe), Associate in Regulation and Compliance (ARC), Associate in Personal Insurance (API), Associate in Insurance Services (AIS), Accredited Insurance Examiner (AIE), and Associate in Insurance Accounting and Finance (AIAF).

Mr. Stolyarov has written a science fiction novel, Eden against the Colossus, a philosophical treatise, A Rational Cosmology,  a play, Implied Consent, and a free self-help treatise, The Best Self-Help is Free. You can watch his YouTube Videos.Mr. Stolyarov can be contacted at

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This TRA feature has been edited in accordance with TRA’s Statement of Policy.

Learn about Mr. Stolyarov's novel, Eden against the Colossus, here.

Read Mr. Stolyarov's new comprehensive treatise, A Rational Cosmology, explicating such terms as the universe, matter, space, time, sound, light, life, consciousness, and volition, here.

Read Mr. Stolyarov's new four-act play, Implied Consent, a futuristic intellectual drama on the sanctity of human life, here.