Email Newsletter to the Thurston Nature Center mailing list Sept 2013

A lot of exciting things have been happening this summer  at the Thurston Nature Center! Here’s an update on some of the activities. 


1. New Trail Signs: Thanks to our neighbors and TNCC members Jim and David Vallem new trail signs and a new Thurston Nature Center sign have been placed at various locations in the nature center. See

2. Trees -- Did you know Thurston Nature center is home to 68 species of Michigan trees? Many of these now have new labels! Read about the tree labels, the Tree Pals Program and Adopt- a-Tree program at

3. Eliminating the Phragmites: The Thurston Nature Center Committee (TNCC) has issued a contract to work on a two year project with PlantWise Restoration, to control the Phragmites in the Nature Center areas where it has been invading these last few years, particularly since 2005. Phragmites is a large perennial reed/grass that is found around the rim of the Thurston pond. Final approval by the AAPS and MDEQ (Michigan Department of Environmental Quality) of the plan to control the Phragmites is in progress and anticipated to occur soon.

4. Thurston Pond Restoration: The Thurston Nature Center Committee  (TNCC) has issued a revised and updated Pond Restoration Plan. Full contents on the document are on the Thurston Nature Center website at .     This report offers a plan and guidance for restoring the health of the Thurston Pond ecosystem, which is the major aquatic feature of the Thurston Nature Center. The report primarily addresses actions for:

5. Environmental Education Program: The 2013-2014
Ann Arbor Public School Year marks the 54th year of the Environmental Education Program (EE) in Ann Arbor and the 45th year that the Thurston Nature Center will be supporting it. Thanks to the leadership of Dave Szczygiel (AAPS) and the local support of our long term resident and TNC Land Steward - Mike Conboy, this program and the TNC continue to offer students the opportunity to provide an outdoor classroom, hands-on and inquiry-based science programs for every student. The field trips and science activities at the TNC permit students to have frequent personal and positive experiences with nature, which can be integrated into their traditional classroom curriculums. It is the love of so many volunteer care takers and EE naturalists like our locals Mike Conboy and Mike Tucker that over the past 4 decades we have been able to conserve this gift and made it continue to blossom. If anyone is interested in participating and/or learning more about how they can help this valuable program please feel free to contact Frank Commiskey at .

6. Thurston School Vegetable Garden: To support and enhance the Thurston Elementary curriculum with outdoor educational experiences like our Thurston Nature Center – (stressing knowledge, characteristics, interrelationships and uses of our natural resources) - members of the TNCC, parents and teachers from Thurston School, and community volunteers decided to build a vegetable garden. The garden is located on the south side of the Thurston Nature Center and close to the school. The students will be able to experience aspects of an agriculture environment and connect nature with nutrition. It is the hope that this will enrich the students understanding of the relationships between what they eat, personal health, community interactions, and our environment. We also hope this will be fostering a deeper understanding of the way our food is produced can help empower students to make healthier nutritional choices for life.

7. Birds: Have you seen the new house wren nest boxes? Also check out the new updated the Bird page of the TNC website

Interested in Getting More Involved?

We are always looking for new and old Friends of The Thurston Nature Center to join us. There are a number of activates that you can participate in. Examples are:

-Fall Work Days (dates to be announced soon)

-Thurston Nature Center Committee Secretary is currently an open position and a fantastic way to get to know everything that's happening!

-Volunteer with the environmental education program - the contact is Frank Commiskey at

-Volunteer to help update the Thurston Nature Center Display Kiosk (near the "amphitheater")  with nice photos and other relevant info about the Thurston Nature Center (contact Emily at )

If you can’t find an activity that fits your wish, come up with your own suggestions – we would love to hear from you.

We will soon be publishing an even fuller list of Fall Projects as well as the “Fall Workday”

Stay in Touch!

To stay in touch with all the latest activities, please LIKE the Thurston Nature Center on Facebook at

and visit the Thurston Nature Center website at

Thanks and see you soon.