2022 Year in Review

Page 1

2022 Year in Review

People • Land • Legacy

Michigan Nature Association

East Branch Fox River at Fox River Wetlands Photo by Fauna Creative

Rising to the Challenge

Looking back on our work in 2022, it seems more natural to think of this annual review as less a report on one year’s worth of work than the capstone of an unprecedented three-year period in MNA’s seventy-year history. Now that the pandemic has been declared over, it is hard to do justice to the amazing work of our staff, the steady leadership of our Board of Trustees and the extraordinary generous support of the many volunteers and donors who helped MNA continue its work during very trying times. Here are just a few of the highlights of what your support duringthesedifficultyearsmadepossible:

We successfully completed the 2019 Consumer’s Energy Foundation Planet Award, despite the pandemic! Even with pandemic restrictions on travel and field work we were able to protect, restore, and enhance more than 670 acres of critical habitat by the end of the 2022 field season. All told, MNA has leveraged the original Planet Award of $250,000 into more than $1.14 million worth of tangible, on-the-ground conservation by expanding and improving some of our most important nature sanctuaries. This is a true testament to MNA’s resilience in the face of adversity.

We used pandemic downtime to re-invest in excellence. In 2019, the Land Trust Accreditation Commission granted re-accreditation to MNA with “special commendations”, noting that MNA had made an “extraordinary commitment to excellence, permanence, and trust.” During the downtime of the pandemic, staff worked to strengthen our foundations even further by re-evaluating our approach to technology (e.g., the need for GIS), workplacesafety(e.g.,remotefieldwork)anddiversity,equity,andinclusion.Wealsohirednewstafftoexpandour conservation partnerships and strengthen our science.

We launched the largest land protection campaign in MNA’s history, headlined by a 3,436-acre project protecting more than 5.4 square miles of habitat along the iconic Fox River. To celebrate our 70th anniversary in 2022, MNA announced the Founders 4 the Future campaign to protect nearly 4,000 acres in honor of the extraordinary vision of our founding generation. The campaign includes three ambitious projects: the Fox River Wetlands project, as well as increasing our protected areas along the St. Mary’s River Flyway to 2,000 acres, and expanding our sanctuaries protecting Brockway Mountain in the Keweenaw to more than 600 acres.*

Evenindifficulttimes,MNA’sworktobuildabrighterfuturecontinues–justasithasformorethanseventy years. There is much still to be done, but the continued support of our members, donors, and volunteers is what makes it all possible. Thank you for all that you do for MNA and for Michigan.

*Thank you to all who have given to the campaign so far! We are making great progress toward our $1.4 million goal, but are still seeking donations. And remember, all gifts of $500 or more are matched, dollar-for-dollar, up to $700,000!

Cover Photo by Tessa Browning Back Cover Photo by Nan Pokerwinski
“Even in difficult times, MNA’s work to build a brighter future continues...”
Photo by Julie Mitchell

Protecting Michigan’s Natural Treasures

Celebrating a Major Milestone

The bold vision of the founding generation of MNA pioneered the protection of critical habitat for rare, threatened, and endangered species, establishing Michigan’s oldest land conservancy and the only one that serves the entire state. In 2022, MNA celebrated 70 years of maintaining a remarkable sanctuary network which, thanks to supporters past and present, now includes over 180 sanctuaries in 60 counties. For some plants and animals MNA protects the finest—and sometimes the only—remaining habitat.

Supporting Vernal Pool Conservation

Thanks to a generous donation, MNA invested further in vernal pool conservation efforts by hiring a Michigan Vernal Pools Partnership Coordinator. The MVPP Coordinator has worked to connect and grow the partnership through expanded outreach efforts resulting in the 2022 MVPP Annual Meeting more than doubling in attendance over previous years.

Leveraging Technology for Environmental Education

Throughout the year, MNA enlisted the help of the award-winning videography team of Fauna Creative to produce a series of informational videos exploring the wonders of Michigan Nature. From the shallow depths of vernal pools in Ephemeral to the rocky bluffs of The Wild Keweenaw, each of these videos has helped us to tell the story of why protecting Michigan nature is so vital. The videos have also helped us to reach audiences ranging from K-12 schools to university researchers, as well as the general public.

Saving a Rare Natural Community

The extraordinary piece of MNA’s largest land campaign in our 70-year history, announced at the end of 2022, is the 3,436-acre Fox River Wetlands property in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula. This area protects a state imperiled natural community known as a patterned fen, as well as a portion of the East Branch of the Fox River—the river made famous by Ernest Hemingway.

Conserving More Than 600 Acres Through the Planet Award

In the spring of 2019, MNA was awarded a $250,000 inaugural Planet Award grant from the Consumers Energy Foundation. The three-year project wrapped up in 2022 with MNA having conducted conservation work on more than 670 acres, nearly 100 acres over the goal. MNA is particularly proud of the fact that we were able to meet and exceed the goals of the grant given that the majority of the implementation period occurred during the Covid-19 pandemic which added unanticipated complications to implementing the project.

Building a Geography of Hope

Project Research Partners

Poweshiek skipperling habitat research

Poweshiek skipperling ex-situ collection

Plant and orchid surveys

Mitchell’s satyr survey

Central Michigan University

Minnesota Zoo/John Ball Zoo/Haddad Lab Michigan State University

Michigan Natural Features Inventory

Michigan Natural Features Inventory

Colonial nesting bird research Jim Ludwig

Rattlesnake survey

Old growth forest soil microbial study

Wood frog sampling

Dwarf lake iris surveys and management research

Blanding’s and spotted turtle surveys

Statewide Forest Inventory

Michigan Natural Features Inventory

Governors State University

Texas State University

Michigan Natural Features Inventory

Michigan Natural Features Inventory

US Forest Service

Advancing Scientific Understanding

MNA’s network of over 180 Nature Sanctuaries across the state provide “living laboratories” for academic and agency researchers in our mutual quests to answer vital questions about ecology, habitat restoration and management, and endangered species recovery. We are especially proud of the contributions to national, regional, and state science made possible by supporters of MNA, and we hope to grow the research “leg of the MNA stool” in the coming years. Here are some highlights from 2022.

Growing Scientific Presence with Conservation Scientist

In 2022, MNA invested in expanding its capacity as a hub for research in the state by hiring a Conservation Scientist. This newly-created position has a wide range of responsibilities to help advance MNA’s mission including cultivating collaborations with academic institutions, performing ecological monitoring at sanctuaries, and partnering with the conservation team to help inform decisions about stewardship activities.

Dwarf Lake Iris Research

MNA is working in partnership with the Michigan Natural Features Inventory to address several recovery goals under the US Fish and Wildlife Service’s Recovery plan for the federal and state threatened dwarf lake iris. Research is underway at MNA Nature Sanctuaries to develop habitat management plans to maintain or increase populations and then monitor those populations’ response to management treatments to better understand habitat requirements of this rare plant. An outreach and education program will also be initiated.

Blanding’s and Spotted Turtle Surveys

Over the course of several years, a dedicated MNA volunteer conducted Blanding’s and Spotted turtle surveys at several MNA nature sanctuaries in the southern lower peninsula. The results of the surveys help MNA better understand the turtles’ usage of the habitat at each of the sanctuaries, as well as contribute to the statewide population surveys that are used by the Michigan Natural Features Inventory, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, and many colleges and universities.

Sanctuaries as Living Laboratories
Joan Rodman Memorial Plant Preserve by Jodi Louth

Being Good Stewards of the Land

Stewardship covers a wide range of activities including trail and visitor amenity improvements, invasive species management, and prescribed burns, typically with help from enthusiastic volunteers across the state. Our conservation staff worked tirelessly to make improvements at many sanctuaries, engaging volunteer sanctuary stewards and others in small groups, tackling large projects.

2022 stewardship highlights include:

• As a proud recipient of a Consumers Energy Foundation Planet Award in 2019, MNA surpassed the award goal of restoring 264 acres of habitat for rare, threatened, and endangered species across the Lower Peninsula.

• Three major land acquisition projects as part of our 70th Anniversary Campaign, protecting nearly 4,000 acres of critical habitat for rare, threatened, and endangered species.

• Parking and other visitor improvements were made this year at the Franklin F. and Brenda L. Holly, Sharon Zahrfeld Memorial, Wade Memorial, and Black Creek Nature Sanctuaries.

• Our stalwart Sanctuary Stewards helped staff monitor 100% of our Nature Sanctuaries to ensure the properties maintain the conservation values for which they were protected.

100% Sanctuaries monitored

4 Prescribed burns conducted

11 Partner research projects

Restoration and Renewal
“Our Sanctuary Stewards, true conservation superheroes, helped us monitor over 180 Nature Sanctuaries this year. It’s a big job and we could not have done it without the persistence and enthusiasm of this special group of volunteers. Thank you Stewards!”
- Andrew Bacon, Conservation Director
Photo by Fauna Creative

Protecting Habitat for People and Wildlife

In the spring of 2019, Michigan Nature Association (MNA) was awarded a $250,000 Planet Award grant from the Consumers Energy Foundation. The goal of the grant was to conserve 575 acres of high quality wildlife habitat in the service area of Consumers Energy to benefit rare, threatened, and endangered plants and animals and imperiled natural communities native to Michigan through permanent land protection and the implementation of habitat management and ecological restoration.

These efforts were strategically planned to address priorities identified in the Michigan Department of Natural Resources’ Wildlife Action Plan to target imperiled natural communities within at least 11 of MNA’s existing nature sanctuaries. MNA indicated that it would leverage the grant funding with $750,000 of additional funding through donations and grants over the 3 year term of the grant.

MNA also planned outreach efforts to recognize the reception of the Planet Award and Consumers Energy’s generosity. Outreach efforts were planned in MNA’s Michigan Nature magazine, advertising in the “Race for Michigan Nature” MNA’s statewide 5 kilometer run series, and with the installation of onsite signage at higher profile MNA owned project sites.

At the conclusion of the grant period, in the summer or 2022, MNA was able to exceed the initial acreage goals of the grant by conducting conservation work on over 670 acres scattered throughout the Consumers Energy service area. MNA also managed to exceed the additional funding leverage identified in the grant application by over $140,000.

$1.14 Million total grant dollars awarded and leveraged

670 Acres protected and conserved

11 nature sanctuaries included

Partnering for Rare Species

Partnering for Rare Species

Supporting Recovery Efforts for Michigan’s Rarest Butterfly

The Minnesota Zoo, John Ball Zoo, and Michigan State University’s Haddad Lab cooperated to provide a captive rearing program as part of an international partnership, that includes MNA, to prevent the extinction of the critically endangered Poweshiek skipperling. This year, several offspring of a Poweshiek skipperling butterfly from an MNA sanctuary were released back into that sanctuary after being raised at the John Ball Zoo through the winter.

Recovering Habitat for the Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake

MNA coordinated and facilitated restoration work among partners including Michigan Natural Features Inventory and Grand Valley State University as part of a multi-year grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. The grant covers population surveys and monitoring, habitat connectivity analyses, risk factor assessments, and education and outreach efforts to increase public support and tolerance for the Eastern massasauga rattlesnake. In the first year of the grant, MNA also conducted habitat management and restoration at both publicly and privately-owned areas occupied by the rattlesnake in the Upper Shiawassee River Watershed in Oakland County.

Partnering for Vernal Pools

MNA continued its co-leadership role with the Michigan Vernal Pools Partnership—a statewide, private/public partnership that works to increase awareness, understanding, and protection of vernal pools and the unique assemblage of plants and animals they support through conservation, research & mapping, education & outreach, and collaboration. A dedicated Michigan Vernal Pools Partnerhsip Coordinator joined the staff at MNA in 2022 to help facilitate the partnership.

Protecting a Rare Snake with New Technology

A unique research project continues as part of a partnership between MNA, John Ball Zoo, and the Michigan Natural Features Inventory to monitor the state endangered and critically imperiled copperbelly water snake at an MNA Nature Sanctuary in the southern Lower Peninsula. Using a combination of game cameras and traditional drift fences, field observation time of the snake will be increased with minimal human presence and disturbance of the habitat. An additional benefit of the technology will be the ability to gather data to learn more about many other reptiles, amphibians, and small creatures that call the sanctuary home.

Fostering Research

A Statewide Impact

MNA’s work would not be possible without the support of our many state and federal agency and organizational partners, foundations, colleges and universities, and local communities. Space prevents a complete list but we wish to thank the following for their assistance in in 2022: Consumers Energy Foundation, Michigan Department of Natural Resources, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Michigan Natural Features Inventory, Wild Turkey Foundation, Michigan Karst Conservancy, Poweshiek Skipperling International Partnership, John Ball Zoo and the Haddad Laboratory at Michigan State University, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality, Michigan State University Extension, Michigan Vernal Pools Partnership, Grand Valley State University, Eastern Michigan University, Michigan Audubon, Brooks Township, Great Lakes Stewardship Initiative, MiSTEM, and the Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area partners. We especially thank our volunteers, interns, and Sanctuary Stewards for their stalwart dedication in another challenging year.

Land Acquisition


This 3,436-acre parcel is the largest single land acquisition in MNA’s history, and protects a rare natural community known as patterned fen.

A 360-acre addition to this sanctuary in Chippewa County creates more habitat in an important migratory flyway along the St. Mary’s River Corridor.


MNA expanded our footprint on the iconic Brockway Mountain with a 150-acre addition, protecting more of the volcanic outcrop and stunning scenic views at the tip of the Keweenaw Peninsula.

A new sanctuary acquisition in Monroe County will be restored from farmland to a diverse oak savanna natural community. Funding was provided by the Consumers Energy Planet Award.

Fox River Wetlands Nature Sanctuary 2. Carlton Lake Wetlands Nature Sanctuary Brockway Mountain Addition 4. Petersburg Nature Sanctuary
2 1 4 3 3 7 E 5 4 2 8 1 10 11 9 3 2 1 1 6 1 10
Memorial Falls by Neil Weaver


1. Sanctuary Access Improvements

MNA completed acess improvement projects at our Sharon Zahrfeld Memorial, Franklin F. and Brenda L. Holly, and Wade Memorial Nature Sanctuaries to increase visitor enjoyment and safety when exploring the sanctuaries’ trails. At Sharon Zahrfeld Memorial, MNA also installed gates that will help reduce unauthorized use at the sanctuary.

2. Trail Improvements at Twin Waterfalls

MNA’s popular sanctuary, the Twin Waterfalls Memorial Plant Preserve, was closed to visitors in early 2021 to undergo extensive trail rerouting, address significant erosion, and provide a more enjoyable experience.

3. Prairie Fen Restoration at Lakeville Swamp

This restoration project, funded through the Consumers Energy Foundation’s Planet Award, continues to make improvements to the restoration of a prairie fen community.

4. Grassland Restoration with Prescribed Burn

MNA conducted prescribed burning and invasive brush removal at several sanctuaries in Oakland County as part of a USFWS Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake Recovery grant.

5. Endangered Species Recovery

MNA and several partners as part of the Poweshiek International Partnership increased the population of Poweshiek skipperling butterflies with captive breeding and release at one of our nature sanctuaries.

6. Rare Plant Research Project

As part of a Rare Species Recovery grant, MNA worked with MNFI to conduct research and develop a management plan for Dwarf lake iris at several nature sanctuaries in the Northern Lower Peninsula.

7. Spotted Turtle Surveys Completed

An MNA volunteer completed a multi-year effort to conduct surveys of spotted turtles at two sanctuaries in Kalamazoo County.

8. Partnership Research Projects Underway

Several MNA Nature Sanctuaries were host to academic and agency researchers whose research seeks answers to vital questions about ecology, habitat restoration and management, and endangered species recovery.

9. Oak Barrens Restoration

MNA conducted prescribed burn activities at several sanctuaries in three counties in the Southern Lower Peninsula to restore the historic oak barrens habitat at the sanctuaries.

10. Rare Species Occurences

Sanctuary stewards identified the first known occurence of Blanding’s turtles, a state species of special concern, at two MNA nature sanctuaries in the Northern Lower Peninsula.

Education & Outreach

1. Michigan Nature at Home Speaker Series

MNA held three virtual sanctuary tour events as part of this series, giving viewers a look at several unique sanctuaries and the work being done to protect them.

2. Michigan Vernal Pools Partnership

MNA co-leads the Michigan Vernal Pool Partnership to raise awareness and conduct trainings with professionals and students, inspiring the next generation of conservationists.

3. Documentaries Expand Environmental Awareness

MNA enlisted the services of the award-winning film crew of Fauna Creative to produce several short documentarystyle videos to tell the story of our conservation work throughout the state, including MNA’s 70th Anniversary, Fox River Wetlands, and vernal pools.

E. Environmental Education Fund Mini-Grants

After several years of pausing the mini-grant program, MNA reopened applications for the environmental education fund for school field trips to natural areas around the state. Riley Elementary was able to complete their field trip in May of 2022, which had been granted for the 2020 school year.

Thank You to Our Supporters

We are so grateful to the thousands of individuals and families who believe in and support MNA. Their commitment results in the accomplishments described in this Year in Review, as well as so many more over our 70-year history. MNA’s inspiring story, long history, and incredible track record of success are remarkable and only possible because of our donors and volunteers—we thank them all for their inspiring contributions to conservation in Michigan through their support of MNA.

MNA is very appreciative of the contributions by each and every member, donor, and volunteer. We have made every attempt to be accurate in our donor list, which includes donations made in the fiscal year between October 1, 2020 and September 30, 2021; any name not included was done so unintentionally and we apologize for the omission.

$10,000 and

Melvin Czechowski

Laybel Family Foundation

Nelson Gregory

Jim Hewitt


Addison and Debby Igleheart

Betsy Noren

Don and Carolyn Reed*

Anonymous (1)

$1,000 to $9,999

Christiane Anderson

Andy Levin for Congress

Doris Applebaum*

Charles and Dana Aymond

Phyllis Barents

Kurt and Deborah Brauer

Kristi Chapman

Sam Passmore, Mott Fdn Bldg

Thomas Cook and Anna Owens

Donald and Christine Diehl

Howard and Nedra Downing

Darcy and David Dye

Franklin H. and Nancy S. Moore Family Foundation

Steve Gilzow

Aubrey and Martina Golden

David & Carrie Grellmann

Rex Guelde

Ann and James Hancock

Heather Hewett

Kurt and Maura Jung

JX Gives Back Family Foundation

Robert Kabbe

Stephen Kelley and Mary Catherine Rentz

John and Joanne Kleis

Diane Krause

Gisela Lendl King

Bruce Loughry*

Gregg Maze

Evan and Sue Noyes

Philip & Sarah Rosenberg Family Trust

Michael Philip

Ron and Helen Priest

Ward Randol, Jr.

Bill and Donna Remer

Tony Reznicek

Roger Rosentreter

Jim Rossman

Randall and Joyce Schau

Marcia Schwarz

The Steve Seymour Family

Larry Shulman and Rhonda Rochambeau

Steve Tomashefsky and Rebecca Sive

Stephanie Swartzendruber and Joel Duncan

James Tercha

The Karen & Drew Peslar Foundation

The Taheri Foundation

The Wilkinson Foundation

Photo by Jeremy Salo

Thank You to Our Supporters

Roger and Rebecca Tuuk

Ruth Vail

Robert and Helen Van Eck

Andy Walz

Marsha Webb

Chris Wise

Joanne Wood

Samuel Woodworth

Stan and Kathy Zasuwa

Cathleen Zepelin*

Anonymous (5)

$500 to $999

Robyn Anspach

David Baur and Bernice Natoli

Pat and Ronald Beechem

Rosemary Bell and Thomas Kosel

Greg Bodker*

Carol Branch and Deb Ledford

Marilou and Thomas Capo

John and Patricia Case

Chillag Charitable Fund

Robert and Linda DeLap

William and Valerie DePriest

Stephanie Diep

Tracy Dulak

Susan Frazier

Paul Gambka

David Gonigam

Nancy Goodrich

James Gother

Christine Grant

Richard Greening

Susan Gumpper

Keto Gyekis

Lloyd Haines

Scott Hickman

Neil and Mary Hodges*

Robert Kachman

Sue Ellen Kingsley and Terry Kinzel

Nancy Lowe

Scott MacLean

Jeanne Marsh and Steve Shevell

Edith Maynard

Nancy Maze

James Mertens

Janet A Morosco

Patrick and Christine Muldoon

Jill Neuville*

Sara Pasquali

Lee and Karen Rentz

Ken Ross

Sandra and Michael Ruddick

Elvera Shappirio

David and Jeannette Sharpe

Dennis Simpson

Antonette St. Pierre

Nancy Steiner

Martin Tatuch

Joyce Van Ochten

Craig Waddell

Glen Walter

Walter Zarnoch

Anonymous (9)

$100 to $499

Susan and Keith Abentrod*

Academic Internal Medicine Associates

Robert Alexander

Catherine H. Anderson

Leon Anibal

Walter and Mary Louise Arnold

Ronald and Judy Backus

Larry and Pat Bacon

Thomas and Linda Baes

Alice Bailey

Amy Bakowski

Beverly Bandt

Mr. and Mrs. Leland K. Bassett

Kim Beal and Gladys Chrostek-Beal

Jonathon Beeton

Jim and Linda Belote

David and Joyce Benjamins

Diane Bennett

Daryl Bernard

Richard Berndt

Harry Bird

James Bizer

John Boles

Jenny Bond

Phillip and Mary Borkowski

Ann and James Bourque

William and Angela Bowman

Kenneth Boyer and Suzanne Tainter

John Bradtke

Mary Bremigan

Ralph and Elizabeth Bremigan

John and Elise Brogan

David and Sharon Brooks

Lawrence Brown

Linda Brown and David Dupont

Richard Brozowski

George Brueck

Lee Burton and Roberta Shaw-Reeves

James Buschmann

Carolyn and Kerry Bush

Cathy and David Butts

Joanne Cantoni

Ruth Caputo

David Cartwright

Joan Chadde

Lucy Chargot

May Chen

Robert Christensen

Leslie Clark

Michael and Terri Clark

Thomas Clark

Pete and Shari Clason

Thank You to Our Supporters

$100 to $499 Cont.

Pegg Clevenger

Daniel and Suzanne Closner

Gary Coats

Joseph and Kyle Cobe

Mary Colopy

Gordon Comfort

Dr. Maureen Conner

Marilyn Cooper

David Cope

John Copley

Gary and Jennifer Course

Dennis and Susan Cox

David Crossett

Anne Crotser

Lt. Col. Stephen Danis

Catherine Davis

Andrea DeAgostino

Lillian & Walter Dean

David DeGraaf

James and Yevgenya Derian

Larry and Diane Detter

Susan Diamond

Charles and Beverly Dommer

Scott and Susan Donegan

Anne Doran

John and Marilyn Doty

Arne and Carol Drake

Stephen and Jayne Dunseith

Mary Edgar

Harry Eick

Ron Emaus and Jan Sovak

Jennifer Enzer

Dagmar Eriksson

Wayne Falda and Ann Tideman

Liz and Sam Febba

Douglas and Susan Felch

William and Wanda Ferguson

Kirk and Carly Fifer

Rhonda Fleener

Richard and Linda Flynn

Jo Foley

Mary and Terry Foltz

Kat Forsythe

Robert and Ruth Fountain

Janet Fox

Matthew and Terri Franzen

Jean Friedel

Liz Gannon

George Gearhart

Dr. Orin and Charlette Gelderloos

Julie George

Richard Giordano

Richard and Marianne Glosenger

Chris and Elaine Graham

Judith and John Graham

David and Linda Grahek

Judith Grantz

Greater Lansing Orchid Society

Tom Green

Jeff Greene

Rosemary Grier and John Welch

James Grone

Edward Groves and Heidi Grether

Suzanne Grywalski

Dennis Hall

Velda Hammerbacher & William Millar

Mindy Hamstra

Dan Hardie and Paula Paszke-Hardie

James and Shirley Harding

Laurel Harmon

Linda and John Harris

Virginia Hathorne

Maia Hausler

Jane Hayes

William Hamilton and Susan Heathfield

Elizabeth Hengstebeck

Larry and Mary Hennessey

Holly Hereau

Phyllis Higman

Martha Hitchiner

Bill and Vivian Hixson

Melissa and Chad Hoeppner

Ann Holmes

Beth Hooley

Barbara Hosler

David Howell

Mary Humm

Julie and Michael Hussar

Keith Alan Huth

Kerry and Mary Irons

Mark and Nancy Isken

Abdeen Jabara and Holly Maguigan

Robert and Nancy Jackson

Jackson Audubon Society

Frederick Jamsen

Jennifer Janson and Jim Clark

Wayne Jedynak

Rosemarie Jeffery

Mark and Cheryl Jenness

Robert Johnson

William Johnson

Joseph Joseph L and Cheryl D Riethman

Charitable Fund

Janet Joslyn

David and Theresa Joswick

Chuck and Sue Julian

Rachel Juris

Bill & Linda Kail

Jacquelyn Kallunki

Karen Kane

Carol Kauffman

Janet Kauffman

Thomas Kearney

Marilyn Keigley

Steve Keim and Vera Kraft

Norman Keller

Brian and Anita Kelley

Paula Kelly

Jeffrey Kemm

Chuck and Katie Kenney

Rebecca Kenny

Susan Kielb

Paul and Judith Kindel

Bill and Deborah Kingsley*

Donn and Kris Kipka

Audrie Kirk

Judith Kirkeby

Justin Klenk

Don Klotz, Jr.

Leah Knapp

Steve Koch

Daniel G. Kosuth

Thank You to Our Supporters

$100 to $499 Cont.

Richard and Ann Kraft

Patricia Kratt

Jillian Kulka

Ponon D. Kumar, M.D.

Dick and Jody LaBarre

David Landry

Lawrence and Judith Larson

Marian Laughlin

Deborah Laverty

Yu Man Lee

John Lehman and Maureen DelaneyLehman

Fred & Leslie Leitz

David Lentz and Marguerite Munson Lentz

Bill and Nancy Leonard

Mary Leys

John Lloyd

Margaret Loffelman

Jim Long

Barry and Karen Ludwig

Jay and Beth Machielse

Georgia Makens

John and Sheryl Martin

Susan and Patrick Martin

William and Mary Martin

Colleen Matula

Lydia Mauti

Margaret S Maycock

Libby Maynard

Diane McCall

JB McCombs and Grace Menzel *

Paul and Susan McEwen

Barbara Mead

Yvette Messing

Barbara Metting

Charles and Carolyn Meyer

Mark and Jeanette Meyer

James Mihelcic and Karen Curry Moran

Tracy Miller

Lisbeth Mitchell

P. E. Mitchell

Rita Mitchell

Sally Modreske

Robert and Jennifer Moll

Ms. Deb Montgomery

Audrey Morris

Dane and Mary Morris

Terence and Patricia Murphy

Scott and Barbara Myckowiak

William Nakalsky

Robert and Kimberly Ness

Quock and Nancy Ng

Bert and Pam Nunneley

Darrin O’Brien

Edward O’Brien II

Fred Oeflein

Marian Orihel

Jim Owen

Gary and Colleen Pace

Nigel Paneth and Ellen Pollak

Jack and Levinia Parker

Alta Parsons

Mark Pasquali

Raymond and Julie Pasquali

Charles and Son Ok Pearson

Jerry and Pat Peck

Page Pegram

Marlene Perry

Michael and Patricia Petelle

Joyce and Joe Peterson

Lynn Phenicie

Jim and Betsy Pifer*

Joe Pitlanish

Michael & Kay Ponicall

Port Huron Garden Club

John Porter

Steve Powell

Stephen and Suzanne Price

Meghan and Michael Prindle

David Putt

William and Barbara Rafaill

Carol and Stephen Rall

Patricia Reckling

Jack Reinoehl

Richard and Kathleen Dirrenberger

Photo by Adelyn Geissel

Thank You to Our Supporters

$100 to $499 Cont.

Donor Advised Fund

Jeff Richards

Patricia Richardson

David Richter

Howard and Sharon Riley

Robert W. Baird & Co. Inc.

Mark and Kathy Roberts

Michael and Libby Robold

Rochester Garden Club

Fran Rosen

Steven Rosswurm

Jerry and Fran Rucker

Ellen Rusco

Mark Sanderson

Daniel Sandin

Mary Saylor

Kathleen and Randy Schafer

Cornelia Schaible

James and Carolyn Schenden

Horst Schmidt

Manfred and Judith Schmidt

Saundra Schneider and William Jacoby

Lynn Schram

Edward and Carol Schrand

Susan and Fred Schultz

Lurline and Kingsley Sears

Janice Selberg

Jan and Jim Senneker

Sarah Sercombe

Karlin Sevensma

Michael and Cynthia Sevilla

Mark and Mary Shantz

Ken Shaw

Robert N. Sheap

Sally and Greg Shoff

Donald Skidmore

Colleen & Martin Smith

John Robert and Sue Smith

Barbara and Terrance Sobczak

Bill Spengler

Donald and Karen Stearns

Jeff Stein

Les and Jackie Stiner

Mark Stoddard

Heidi Stoneman

Kay Stremler and Ron Sell

Gary Strong

Elly Sullivan*

William Sullivan

Sharon Suppelsa

Matt Swanson

Neal and Sharon Swanson

Lawrence Sweet

Scott Swinton and Sylvia Morse

Adam Szymczak

Craig and Judy Taggart

Bing Tai

Bradley Taylor

David and Judith Thurmon

William and Lenora Thurston

Janice Titiev

Nancy and Lee Todd

Robert Tomasik and Norman Horowitz

Paul Tomboulian

Photo by Greg Bodker

Thank You to Our Supporters

$100 to $499 Cont.

Edward and Jacqueline Trancik

Kyle and Carol Troyer

Paul and Catherine Tulikangas

Craig Tylenda

Chris Udell

Alice and Dale Valaskovic

Diane Vale

Phyllis Valentine

Steve and Lorie Vander Wall

Margaret Walter

Robert Walter

Susan Waltz & John Smith

Stewart and Noreen Warren

Tom and Nancy Washburne

Jamie Watts

Suchitra Webster

Virginia Weingate

Annette Weiser

Sue Welch

Michelle and Michael Wenisch

Derek Wheaton

Whistling Frog Tile Inc.

Carolyn White

Margaret White

William and Linda Wichers

Marshal Wied

Nancy Wierenga

Diane Wilbur

James Wilton

Shirley and Forrest Wing

Alan Wiseman

Steve Wisinski

Ronald and Laurie Wurst

Lynn Yanna

Nancy Yeager

Ted Zahrfeld

Robert and Ruth Ziel

Anonymous (77)

Photo by Winnie Chrzanowski

Thank You to Our Supporters Guardians of the Future

Leaving a gift to the Michigan Nature Association in a will, trust, or life insurance policy or other planned gift has a lasting legacy. Those who have included MNA in their planned gifts are our “Guardians of the Future” because their actions are protecting the future of MNA and its nature sanctuaries across the state. The following individuals have chosen to be Guardians of the Future:

Delrae Abbott

Susan and Keith Abentrod

Alec and Judy Allen

Howard and Selma Anderson

Doris Applebaum

John Assenmacher

Steve and Karen Benkert

Elizabeth Bishop

Greg Bodker

Phil and Mary Borkowski

Carl Bouton

Jack Carso

William Cooke

Roger Cooney

Betty Debus

Stan and Betsy Dole

Dorothy Engelman

Bill and Wanda Ferguson

Richard Foster

Stephen Fox

Jeff and Asansaya Ganley

Barb Haman

John Hand

Fay Hansen

Neil and Mary Hodges

Brenda Holly

Frank Holly

Shannon Horne

Abdeen and Holly Jabara

Rama and Gokul Jinka

Ronald Joseph

Jan Joslyn

Bill and Deborah Kingsley

Bruce Loughry

Linda Luneack

Marena and Ralph Markel

JB and Grace McCombs

Donn and Kathy Miller

Betty Muller

James Munro

Jill Neuville

Anne & Paul Pancella

Jim and Betsy Pifer

Don and Carolyn Reed

Deborah Remer

Mike and Libby Robold

Stephen and Barbara Ross

Ruth Sablich

To learn more about how you can contribute to the Michigan Nature Association, please contact Executive Director Garret Johnson at gjohnson@michigannature.org or call (866) 223-2231.

Judith Schmidt

Don and Susan Schmitz

Mark Sellers

Ruth Sercombe

Amanda Slawter

Elly Sullivan

Gerard and Lynette Szydlowski

Scott and Linda Thomasma

Edward Trowbridge

Stewart Vining

Brian and Joan Wake

John Zachel

Cathleen Zepelin

Ray Ziarno

Anonymous (15)

Photo by Jeremy Salo

Thank You to Our Supporters


Mary Ann Czechowski

Clifford Welsch

An MNA member since the 1970s, Mary Ann Czechowski was a dedicated proponent of MNA’s mission. For more than 30 years, she served MNA as a volunteer and board member including as Secretary, Treasurer, Director, and more.

In college, she studied both art history and geology. After receiving a Bachelor’s degree in Geology at Wayne State University and a Master’s degree in Geology/ Geography from Eastern Michigan University, she worked primarily as a consultant in geology, including lending her expertise to MNA.

In her later years, it became much more difficult for her to remain physically involved, but her and her husband Mel’s support of MNA continued. Mary Ann’s passion and dedication to the environment will be missed by the many at MNA who had the good fortunate to know her.

Cliff was passionate about endangered plants and animals and the native natural communities that support them. He even restored 80 acres of prairie at his home, by all accounts truly a labor of love. He served as a volunteer Steward at two important MNA Nature Sanctuaries—Sauk Indian Trail Prairie and Prairie Ronde Savanna.

Cliff’s work was a family affair as his wife, Margaret, joined and served on the Board of Trustees for 16 years, holding leadership positions that included Board President, Vice President, and Secretary. She was just recently re-elected to the Board this spring. Together, Cliff and Margaret made an extraordinary gift to MNA— underwriting the construction and furnishing of a large education room at MNA’s headquarters in Okemos. Available to partner organizations and conservation groups, the Margaret and Clifford Welsch Education Room hosts meetings, workshops, training, and speaking events by a host of agencies and nonprofits, including the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund, Michigan Audubon, Michigan Garden Clubs, Michigan Wetlands Association, and many more.

Photo by Susan Miller

Financial Summary

Fiscal Year 2021-2022

This condensed financial statement for the fiscal year beginning October 1, 2021 and ending September 30, 2022 is based upon preliminary financial statements being audited by the independent accounting firm of Flegal and Melnik CPA. Copies of the audit and MNA’s Form 990 Report to the Internal Revenue Service for FYE 2022 are available upon request.

2022 2021 ASSETS Cash 130,736 138,016 Receivables 116,035 78,436 Investments at Market Value 5,086,481 7,912,450 Property and Equipment 664,753 722,237 Sanctuary Properties 15,891,505 13,943,858 Other Assets 27,198 116,301 TOTAL ASSETS 21,916,708 22,911,298 LIABILITIES Accounts Payable 140,768 28,324 Payroll and Payroll Taxes 23,573 31,113 Annuity Liability 19,331 23,634 TOTAL LIABILITIES 183,672.36 83,071 TOTAL NET ASSETS 21,733,035 22,828,227 TOTAL LIABILITIES AND NET ASSETS 21,916,708 22,911,298 Expenses Income Conservation 18% 27% 32% 24% 2% 41% Administration Outreach & Education 51% Miscellaneous Endowment Contributions Grants & Restricted Fundraising 4%

About Us

Our Mission

The purpose of MNA is to acquire, protect, and maintain natural areas that contain examples of Michigan’s endangered and threatened flora, fauna, and other components of the natural environment, including habitat for fish, wildlife, and plants of the state of Michigan and to carry on a program of natural history study and conservation education.

We envision a future where Michigan’s rare, threatened, and endangered species, and imperiled natural communities thrive, and where they are valued by people and communities that embrace and benefit from Michigan’s natural heritage.

Board of Trustees

Executive Committee

Yu Man Lee


Kurt Brauer

Vice President

Ruth Vail


Aubrey Golden


Garret Johnson

Executive Director


David Cartwright

Kara Haas

Maureen McNulty Saxton

Brandon Schroeder

Staff Leadership

Garret Johnson

Executive Director


Andrew Bacon

Conservation Director

Rachel Maranto

Conservation Manager, L.P.

Ayden Ehgotz

Conservation Coordinator, E.L.P.

Stuart Goldman

Conservation Coordinator, W.L.P.

Bill Atkinson

Conservation Coordinator, Thumb

Nancy Leonard

Conservation Coordinator, Keweenaw

Natalie Kent-Norkowski

Land Protection Technician

Outreach & Education

Lauren Ross

Communications & Events Coordinator

Abby Pointer

Vernal Pools Partnership Coordinator


Carol Schulz

Finance & Administration Director

Lorenzo Kleine

Membership Services & Administrative

All uncredited photography is taken from the MNA archives. Please direct questions about this publication to Communications & Events Coordinator Lauren Ross by emailing lross@michigannature.org or calling (866) 223-2231.

© 2022. Except where used with permission, entire contents copyright 2022 Michigan Nature Association.

“Worker Bee on a Starflower” photo by Jenifer Selwa Bois Blanc Nature Sanctuary photo by Brandie Dunn
“The work MNA has done is simply irreplaceable... MNA is protecting the soul of Michigan.”
Dave Dempsey award-winning author of Ruin and Recovery: Michigan’s Rise as a Conservation Leader

Michigan Nature Association


2310 Science
Suite 100
Okemos, MI 48864
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