HSGL Annual Meeting - A History of Fenner Nature Center
Thursday, June 9, 2016 - 7:00 pm
Fenner Nature Center - 2020 E. Mount Hope Ave.
Summer is the perfect time to enjoy one of our city's greatest treasures - Fenner Nature Center. We'll join longtime member and former President of the Friends of Fenner Nature Center Ron Eggleston for a talk on the history of Fenner Nature Center for our annual meeting. Ron's presentation will take place in the Visitors Center. Interested members are encouraged to arrive early and hike the trails before the meeting.
The property that is today Fenner Nature Center was once part of Springdale, a large farm owned by J.M. Turner. The farm passed down through the Turner family through multiple generations. By the time Scott Turner acquired the farm around 1900, it had dwindled to less than 150 acres. In 1952 Scott offered to sell the farm to the City of Lansing, stating that he wished it to remain in a somewhat primitive state. Lansing's City Council agreed to purchase the land for a park late that same year.
In 1958 Carl Fenner, a forester educated at MAC, became the new head of the Lansing Parks Department. Inspired by the Morton Arboretum in Illinois, Fenner set out to create an ambitious park where Lansing area residents could pursue "information, instruction and general knowledge concerning landscaping, gardening, forestry, botany, and related subjects." Arboretum Park, as it was then known, opened on August 1, 1959, to a crowd of 11,000 visitors. In 1965 the City of Lansing renamed the park The Carl G. Fenner Arboretum.
Today "the Arb", as it is still known to some Lansing residents, is jointly managed by the City of Lansing and the Friends of Fenner Nature Center. Every year Fenner hosts dozens of school tours, a series of summer camps, and the ever-popular Apple Butter Festival and Maple Syrup Festival. It continues to be an excellent resource for Lansing area residents.
As our bylaws require, we will be voting on the HSGL Board for the 2016-2017 year at the meeting. The proposed slate of candidates for the board includes:
Bill Castanier, President
Valerie Marvin, Vice President
Ron Emery, Secretary
Tim Kaltenbach, Treasurer
Jesse LaSorda, Trustee
Zig Olds, Trustee
Mary Kwas, Trustee