By Jackie Salowitz
Tribune Recorder Leader
People love the land for different reasons. A crop farmer tills the soil to grow a crop(s) and gain a profit. Through the years, many of them have learned to nourish the land and put back into the soil. Beef and dairy farmers use the land to grow crops for their livestock, and some to graze their cattle upon it.
But, Bill Horman loves the land for a different reason. Profit isn’t even thought of on his 40-acre parcel that was once wheat, oats and corn. But, he does cultivate it, with love of over 1,000 varieties of both woody and non-woody plants, both rare and native, and beautiful bulb flowers.
Bill’s parents, from Detroit, purchased the land, and with their three children, started a small orchard, some windbreaks and even built a small cabin within.
At the young age of 18, Bill began landscaping the area – from lilacs (now over 300 varieties), daffodils and other bulb flowers, assorted perennials – including hostas, daylilies and others.
For lilac lovers, this week should be ideal for viewing and “smelling”.
The “park” that he created is now known as Sunny Fields Botanical Park, and is located at 5444 Welch Road, Emmett Township. It was incorporated as an educational charity in 2003 (501(c)(3)) and is dependent on volunteers, donations and membership purchases.