Michigan Nature Association

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The Michigan Nature Association is a nonprofit conservation organization established in 1952. It currently has under its jurisdiction 176 nature sanctuaries in 58 counties throughout Michigan. [1]


In 1951, a bird study group in Macomb County was formed to protect wildlife, hoping to keep Michigan in a natural state. Their first project was protesting the destruction of a tern colony at Metropolitan Beach. Calling themselves the St. Clair Metropolitan Beach Sanctuary Association, they started weekend nature exhibits, guided tours, and published a study course. In 1955, the Junior Nature Patrol (JNP) was formed. With this growth, the group began looking to expand and do further conservation work.[2]

The first purchase of a sanctuary was made in 1960 and named Red Wing Acres. Further properties were obtained through negotiation with landholders, and by 1965, the group renamed itself to the Eastern Michigan Nature Association. Expansion into Northern Michigan led to the final name change of Michigan Nature Association (colloquially known as MNA) in 1970.[3] That same year the Association also helped write and campaign for the Natural Beauty Roads Acts in Michigan, now known as Michigan's Natural Beauty Roads Act of 1970.[4]

In 1974, founder Bertha Daubendiek was awarded Outstanding Michigan Volunteer of the Year by Governor Milliken for her work with MNA, and in 1979, the same year the MNA had secured its 50th sanctuary, Daubendiek was honored as Michiganian of the Year by the Detroit News.[5]

Twin Waterfalls Nature Sanctuary, acquired in parts throughout 1986 and 1987, became the Association's 100th property. [6]

Daubendiek was inducted into the Michigan Women's Hall of Fame in 1994 [7] for her work.

MNA relocated its office in 2002 to the small town of Williamston, just outside the Lansing area, and moved even closer in 2014, to Okemos. 2014 was also the year MNA received national accreditation by the Land Trust Accreditation Commission.[8]


Below are a few of MNA's sanctuaries listed by county:

County Sanctuary
Alger Twin Waterfalls Plant Preserve
Allegan Lawrence A. and Mary Bell Wade Memorial Nature Sanctuary
Alpena Julius C. and Marie Moran Peter Memorial Nature Sanctuary
Antrim Cedar River Nature Sanctuary
Cass Dowagiac Woods Nature Sanctuary
Clare Alta Warren Parsons Memorial Nature Sanctuary
Clinton A Looking Glass Sanctuary
Genesee Dauner Martin Nature Sanctuary
Houghton Robert T. Brown Nature Sanctuary
Huron Kernan Memorial Nature Sanctuary
Ingham Red Cedar River Floodplain Nature Sanctuary
Jackson Lefglen Nature Sanctuary
Keweenaw Black Creek Nature Sanctuary
Estivant Pines Nature Sanctuary
James H. Klipfel Memorial Nature Sanctuary at Brockway Mountain
Lenawee Goose Creek Grasslands Nature Sanctuary
Livingston Lyle and Mary Rizor Nature Sanctuary
Mackinac Fred Dye Nature Sanctuary
Macomb Wilcox Warnes Nature Sanctuary
Montcalm George and Jessie Krum Memorial Plant Preserve
Newaygo Karner Blue Nature Sanctuary
Oakland Lakeville Swamp Nature Sanctuary
Oceana Genevieve Casey Nature Sanctuary
St. Clair Bertha A. Daubendiek Memorial Nature Sanctuary
Elmer P. Irene Jasper Woods Memorial Nature Sanctuary
Van Buren Hamilton Township Coastal Plain Marsh Nature Sanctuary
Washtenaw Joan Rodman Memorial Plant Preserve


  1. ^ "Our History". MichiganNatureAssociation.org. 2018.
  2. ^ "Our History". MichiganNatureAssociation.org. 2018.
  3. ^ "Our History". MichiganNatureAssociation.org. 2018.
  4. ^ "MNA Turns 65!". MichiganNature WordPress Blog. 2017-03-10. Retrieved 2019-05-04.
  5. ^ "Bertha Daubendiek Obituary, The Detroit News". MichiganNatureAssociation.org. 2005-11-20. Retrieved 2019-05-04.
  6. ^ "Twin Waterfalls Nature Sanctuary Fact Sheet" (PDF). MichiganNatureAssociation.org. 2012. Retrieved 2019-05-04.
  7. ^ "Daubendiek, Bertha A." (PDF). MichiganWomensHallofFame.org. 1994. Retrieved 2019-05-04.
  8. ^ "MNA Turns 65!". MichiganNature WordPress Blog. 2017-03-10. Retrieved 2019-05-04.

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