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Buttonbush Nature Area

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Buttonbush Nature Area is a 15.3-acre park on the northeast side of Ann Arbor, near the corner of Nixon and Dhu Varren Roads. It is connected to Foxfire East Park on its western edge, and is not far from Oakwoods Nature Area to the east, which makes it an important link in the habitat corridor in this portion of Ann Arbor.

The habitat within the park is mainly comprised of flat or gently rolling dry-mesic forest dominated by oaks and hickories. A large buttonbush swamp lies in the central portion of the park, and a small seasonal stream flows into the swamp from private proptery before continuing south through the park. Scattered throughout the forest are several vernal pools, which provide habitat for salamanders and frogs. Other interesting species that can be found in the park include wild turkey, wood thrush, bladdernut, black ash, swamp white oak, and yellow pond lily. In total, there are over 160 species of plants within the park.

A trail system through the park has not yet been developed.

  • Age: Acquired in 2019
  • Size: 15.3 acres
  • Ecosystem types: Dry-mesic forest, buttonbush swamp


As far back as the 1940s, the forest and buttonbush swamp were largely intact, though their edges had been disturbed and plowed up for agricultural uses. Farming continued around the park until the 1990s, when the fields to the west of the park were converted into residential areas. In the early 2000s, the fields to the east of the park began to be abandoned, and within about 15 years, this area also became residential. The forest and the swamp remained undisturbed throughout all of these changes, which indicates that the habitat could support uncommon species that have been displaced by development in other areas.

Click here to view a PDF map of the park.