When budget cuts forced the City of Troy Michigan to cut funding for maintenance of the trails and main building in May 2011, one of the local citizens decided that this nature preserve was too important to lose, and so John Ragan turned what should have been a quiet retirement into a quest to raise money to keep the Nature Center open.
John first introduced the idea of forming a non-profit group to save the Nature Center at the city of Troy’s annual Maple Syrup Volunteer Dinner in May 2010. With support from local citizens who joined John’s efforts and helped him to raise money, John was able to establish the Troy Nature Society, which has not only raised enough money to keep the 100-acre Nature Center from closing, but also offers educational programs on nature and the environment for children and adults all through the year. One of the Society’s main goals is to support the state’s No Child Left Inside Program, which engages children in outdoor activities to promote learning about nature and the environment.
Children and adults visiting the Troy Nature Center can sign up for nature walks that include seeing, hearing, smelling and touching the wonders of nature, including butterflies, frogs, small fish, and a huge variety of plants and insects. As they hike along the trails, visitors can also observe birds and wild animals that inhabit the sanctuary, stopping to explore ponds, meadows and streams along the way. Anyone who has been to the Troy Nature Center can’t help but feel like they’ve stepped back in time as they explore this beautiful natural area, and experience what it must have been like for those who first discovered this pristine area hundreds of years ago.
It takes a special kind of person to dedicate their time and efforts for a cause that benefits countless others and not just the individual who’s doing it. Thanks to the efforts of John Ragan and the many volunteers who’ve given up their precious free time and weekends to raise money and conduct nature tours, the Nature Center will remain open for nature enthusiasts to enjoy for many years to come.
Another way to support the Troy Nature Society is through Artful Vision, a proud fundraising partner. When you purchase American made gifts throughout the year, the artists, crafters, musicians and authors of Artful Vision will donate 20% of your purchase to this worthy cause.
Thank you John and the many other citizens for making a difference to your community through your involvement at the Troy Nature Center.
So, come on by, get a little exercise, hike the trails, visit the Nature Center and see for yourself this jewel of Oakland County. Click here for a detailed map of the trails.
The Troy Nature Society is located at 6685 Coolidge,Troy, MI 48098.