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Land Use and Planting Policy

Pond Restoration Plan


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Thank you to Toyota for sponsoring the Thurston Nature Center projects and National Public Lands Day events. Toyota is sponsoring the Amphibian Rain Garden and Hummingbird Trellis projects.

See photos of the William Stapp Amphitheater dedication from Sept. 2014.

Read the latest news (Aug. 2014) on Thurston Nature Center activities, including pond and wetland restoration and much more.

See photos of the new Trail Signs and Tree Labels.


Welcome to the Thurston Nature Center. The Thurston Nature Center is located just north of Thurston Elementary School on Prairie Street and on the south side of Bluett Road, across from Clague Middle School in northeast Ann Arbor, Washtenaw County, Michigan.


The area is enjoyed by many people in the community, and school classes have used the nature center as part of Ann Arbor Public Schools' Environmental Education Program for decades. Fall and Spring Workdays help with trail maintenance and weedy plant control, and an active "adopt-a-tree" program involves community members in tree maintenance. The Nature Center is managed by the volunteer Thurston Nature Center Committee, a subcommittee of the Parent-Teacher Organization at Thurston Elementary School. A Land Use Policy Statement was agreed upon in 2003.

Special Designations

The Nature Center was dedicated as a Conservation Education Reserve by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources in 1968, and celebrated its 40th anniversary in 2008.  In 2010, it became a National Wildlife Federation Certified Wildlife Habitat.

Pond Restoration

The biodiversity of the aquatic plant and animal life in the Thurston pond has declined substantially over the last several years. The Thurston Nature Center Committee has voted to adopt a comprehensive plan to rehabilitate (i.e., restore the ecological health and biodiversity of) Thurston Pond. 

We continue to look for funding sources to restore the pond and also take donations (form) and online (click "Save the Pond" icon below) as part of being a committee of the non-profit Thurston PTO, a 501(c)3 organization.

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