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.
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 Foundation Certified Wildlife Habitat.
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 voted in 2005 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 as part of being a committee of the non-profit
Thurston PTO, a 501(c)3 organization.