Enjoy a day of natural calm in this living natural history museum that holds the region's largest collection of regional and cultivated plants. Named after Thelma and Charles Mercer, the Mercer Arboretum and Botanic Gardens spreads across 250 acres of land along Cypress Creek and has free admission. The area includes several well-maintained hiking trails, a butterfly house, restroom facilities, and picnic areas. The nationally-recognized arboretum and botanical garden boasts the largest collection of native and cultivated species in the region. Among the many highlights are Dogwood trees, pink camellias, camphor daisies, and orchid trees. Pack a picnic and spend the afternoon spotting colorful pine warblers, black-capped chickadees, and cardinals as they fly overhead. Mercer is now striving to increase public awareness of its innovative behind-the-scenes research into the conservation of plant genetic resources and has educational displays. Head for the Mercer Arboretum and Botanic Gardens and a day of botanical biodiversity awaits.