MNA's History

What started as a small bird study group transformed into a state-wide land conservation organization.

In 1951, Bertha A. Daubendiek and a few of her friends started a group to study birds. The group started out with a mission to protect ecological diversity and to educate people about Michigan’s diverse wildlife. This mission was revised over time as the organization expanded its ideology to accommodate land acquisition and conservation.       

A Glimpse Into The Past

For six decades, MNA members, donors and volunteers have built a network of more than 170 nature sanctuaries across the state - the largest network of natural areas owned and maintained by a nonprofit conservation organization in Michigan.

What started as a bird-watching group signs Articles of Incorporation.

The organization acquires its first ten properties, including the first Upper Peninsula property.

MNA joins the Save the Pines campaign, and acquires one of its crown jewels: the Estivant Pines Nature Sanctuary.

Twin Waterfalls in Munising becomes the 100th property protected by MNA.

MNA creates nearly 40 new nature sanctuaries, including many that will become the most frequently visited.

MNA partners with the Michigan Karst Conservancy to protect the Mystery Valley Karst Preserve and Nature Sanctuary.

Today, MNA protects more than 170 nature sanctuaries across Michigan.

Your support makes our success possible. We invite you to join the Michigan Nature Association today!