Buttonbush Nature Area


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​​​​Buttonbush Nature Area is a 15.3 acre ​nature area on the northeast side of Ann Arbor, near the corner of Nixon and Dhu Varren Roads. View the Ann Arbor Parks and ​Nature Areas map​ for location context. 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. There are some trails in the park, ​and a trail network is still being developed.

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 property before continuing south through the park. 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.​​​

Park Notices

Unless otherwise posted per City Council resolution, when a park is closed, no person shall remain in or enter it other than to quietly sit or walk.​

Refer to Chapter 39 of the City of Ann Arbor Code of Ordinances for park regulations and rules.

Park Hours

6 a.m. – Midnight



Unpaved Trails



Access and Parking

There is a trail entrance at the end of Hickory Drive​, and there is street parking along the road.

The park is accessible on foot and bicycle by using the neighborhood streets west of the park. There is no bike rack at the park.​ Nearby Dhu Varren Road has bike lanes and a sidewalk.

Public Transportation

​The nearest ​bu​s stop​ is on Dhu Varren Road, and is about a 10 minute walk from the trail entrance on Hickory. Visit TheRide​ for closest stops and route details or check out the parks ride guide​​.​​

Park History

Ann Arbor's city parks sit on the ancestral and traditional homelands​ of several indigenous Native peoples. Read a land acknowledgement​​ from the city and learn more a​bout the early history of the land here.​​

The land that comprises Buttonbush Nature Area was acquired by the city in 2019. The area was officially named Buttonbush in fall of that year because of the buttonbush swamp found within the area.​

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.

Read an article from the NAP Newsletter in 2019 describing the natural characteristics of the newly acquired natural area, which had yet to be officially named:​​

​2019 Park Focus: A New Nature Area! by Krissy Elkins


Volunteer in the parks

Looking to make an impact in a park or nature area? Ann Arbor Parks and Recreation provides volunteer opportunities for almost every interest, ability, and commitment level.

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A2 Fix It

A2Fix It - Service request tool

A2 Fix It is an online system you can use to report any maintenance issues or other problems during your park visit. When reporting an issue in a park please include detailed location information in the "details and description" section near the end of the request process. Pictures that provide location context are very helpful.

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