Return to Thurston Nature Center Website Home

Thurston Nature Center News of May 6, 2015

Thanks again for all your support.

For updates, more details and additional information  you can always check the Thurston Nature Center website at and Thurston Nature Center on Facebook at


Greetings - Thurston Nature Center Neighbors and Friends


Happy National Wildflower Week…….. From May 4 through May 10, celebrate nature's bounty of wildflowers across the nation.

"The Earth Laughs in Flowers." - - Ralph Waldo Emerson 

Early May is all about spring and the lovely wildflowers at the TNC.

I urge you all to take a nice leisurely walk around the TNC and enjoy the colors of all our trees and wildflowers.

National Wildflower Week was first held in 1988 by the American Wildflower Society. In 2002, initiator Charles Spencer approached the Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center about becoming the celebration's permanent home, while Spencer chaired the National Ecology Commission. The Lady Bird Johnson Wildflower Center oversees the annual week each May."


"Where flowers bloom so does hope." - -  Lady Bird Johnson


This coming September will mark 48 yrs. since Lady Bird Johnson honored (at the White House) the Thurston & Ann Arbor community for all their beautification and conservation efforts at the Thurston Nature Center.

That ceremony had just followed the earlier landmark decision by the AAPS-Board of Education to designate the Thurston Nature Center as a site to be “preserved and conserved for outdoor education”.


Thanks to so many people, today we can proudly say that we continue to carry on the mission and the goals of our founders.


“When we see land as a community we may begin to use it with love” - - Aldo Leopold





 “WE ARE ON OUR WAY” - - The Thurston Pond and Wetland Restoration Project.

o   Ann Arbor City’s Planning Commission and City Council have approved the project

o   The State of Michigan Department of Licensing and Regulatory Affairs – Bureau of Construction Codes has approved our project

o   We already have our Michigan Department of Environmental Quality permit

o   A Public/Community Meeting was held on April 15th – well attended by approximately 50+ people. Information was provided on our goals and objectives of the project, as well as our TNC vision for the next 25 yrs.

o   Moving Forward

§  On April 30th the AAPS initiated and posted the solicitation for the construction work that has to take place in the pond – the Request For Proposal can be located at

§  Bids for the construction work are due May 18th.

§  After a careful review and selection of the contractor - our recommendation will be presented to the AAPS-School Board (May 27th) for approval and issuance of the Purchase Orders.

§  We are on target to start in early June with our construction effort…

o   Other restoration efforts associated with this project have already started. There is a lot to do besides the construction work. We plan to be working on site almost every day including the weekends. If you want to help and join this “labor of love” contact Frank at 

§  Clearing of the awful Phragmites, Buckthorn, and other harmful invasive surrounding the wetlands has commenced.

§  Surveys and the tracking of our amphibian and reptile population and their habitats (defining and quantifying species and habitats) is currently taking place.

§  A TNCC Aquatic Plant Working Group is being formed (Tom Edsall is taking the lead) – individuals interested in joining can contact Frank at 

 Oak Savanna Restoration Project

o   A successful burn on the southern half of our Oak Savanna ecosystem was followed by the Troop1-Boy Scouts of America (led by Denis Sorel) - donating plastic and providing the labor to properly spread it over the turf grass. The goal is to kill the turf grass and replace it with a native short-grasses, shrubs, and wildflowers - indicative of a prairie. Funding for the plants was provided in a form of an educational grant from the Wildflower Association of Michigan.


 Celebrations of Earth Day and Week

o   Many thanks to everyone who participated in celebrating Earth Day/Week and the National Environmental Education Week at the Thurston Nature Center. It was an awesome/amazing week of stewardship, and of collaborations between students, families, and the entire community. Every day was full with enjoyable and educational activities that helped us restore the Thurston Nature Center. A special thanks to the Thurston Elementary School - PTO, Administration, Teachers, and Students for all their contributions.


 Frogs & Toads – Learning Life Cycles & Habitats – GREEN STEAM at Thurston

o   In collaboration with Dave Mifsud (TNC consultant- Herpetological Resource and Management) and help from Catie Wytychak (U of M & NAP) - -  GREEN STEAM leader – Mary Manthey has established a number of programs for Thurston students including creating a classroom habitat whereby students can observe TNC - Eastern American Toad eggs hatch into tadpoles. If all goes well the students will release the tadpoles back into the TNC-Pond and Wetlands.


 TNC - Student Outreach Program

o   Welcome to the TNC - our new Eastern Michigan University Summer IESS-ENVI Intern-Students

§  Once again the TNC is hosting students from Eastern Michigan University’s - Interdisciplinary Environmental Science and Society Program - for the summer.

We welcome;

·       Sheila Voorhees - Working with our TNC Marketing and Communications Working Group - to improve our effectiveness and efficiency in the two-way transfer of information within and from the TNCC organization to all users and interested folks of the TNC. Sheila and the TNCC Working Group will be working with Derek and Ana Warren of Arbor Printing to create a new Website for the TNC

·       Christopher Svinicki – Working with the TNC Land Stewards, Rain Garden Working Group, and Thurston School’s GREEN-STEAM leader,  Chris will be taking on the current challenges we have with completing the new Rain Garden/ Humming Bird-Butterfly Garden – i.e. improve hydrological conditions – (we have either too much or too little water), complete the implementation of a new trellis to replace the backstop, define the boundaries of the garden, etc…..


Volunteers Needed

o   Want to get involved, have a hobby that perhaps could involve the TNC, but…… not sure what is needed - contact Frank - 

o   We are in desperate need for volunteers to help in a variety of different areas – for example

§  Developing, launching, and using different media (i.e. outreach programs, creating & scheduling events, maintain newsletter/website/Facebook page…etc…)

§  Championing (stewardship) one of our 10 ecosystems

§  Help design interpretive signs and kiosks

§  Exercise with us – cleaning up brush piles, clearing/rescuing trees,  and getting rid of invasive

§  Landscape designing of main entrances and amphitheater

§  Education – work with the GREEN-STEAM team

o   If you have your own wish let us know





May 7th - TNCC Monthly Meeting - Open to all interested in the TNC!

o   Meeting will be held at the Thurston Elementary School Library (7-9 PM)

o   Open meeting…your ideas, suggestions, opinions are always needed and very much appreciated


 May 9th – Thurston Nature Center Workday – Sponsored by Yale University - Yale Alumni and Friends - a “Day of Service at the TNC”

o   Thanks to Andrew Port – Class of 85 – how cool is this - Yale alumni and friends around the world coming together to serve their local communities and in this case the Thurston Nature Center

o   Participants will assist in clearing invasive plants and brushes in the wetlands around the Thurston Pond Nature Center – in preparation for the pond restoration

o   Come join us 9:00am to 2:00pm - - check out the site……

o   For more information you can contact Andrew at 


 May 11th – Open House at our Neighbors, Friends and Partners Green Things Farm

o   3825 Nixon Rd - - Sunday 1 to 4 PM – check


May 16th -  50 YEAR CELEBRATION - for Thurston Elementary School

o   A 50 year - Celebratory – Co-sponsored by Thurston Elementary PTO and Kiwanis A2 Morning Edition (1915 – 2015:  Serving the Children of the World)

o   Also thanks to the sponsors Reinhart and Victory Lane-Quick Oil Change

o   In the Morning

§   A 5K Run/Walk and a 1-Mile Family Fun Run/Walk

§  At approximately 10:40AM we will also have our annual spring Wildflower and Tree tours (more information to follow)

o   In the Evening

§   A Dinner at Thurston School

o   The Run and Walk starts at Thurston Elementary School parking lot - going around Bromley, Orchard Hills, and Maplewood and ending at the Thurston Nature Center – Stapp Amphitheatre

o   Current and past students, teachers, parents, neighbors, and all supporters of Thurston Elementary School – are invited

o   For more information - check the attachment to this email and the following

§  Website:

§  Current & Alumni (parents included):  

§  Question - - Email (with subject: Thurston 50) - Mary Manthey –  and/or Siri Ibarguen – 


May 28th - TNCC Monthly Meeting - Open to all interested in the TNC!

o   Meeting will be held at the Thurston Elementary School Library (7-9 PM)

o   Open meeting……your ideas, suggestions, opinions are always needed and very much appreciated




Thanks to all….for your donations and overall support.

Because of you…we have regained the momentum, energy, and desire to keep the purpose and misson of the Thurston Nature Center (TNC) alive. 

It is very much appreciated.



Contact [email protected] and/or call Frank at (734-369- 0992)

Stay in touch + Get involved + Pass the word on + Create awareness