Address: 2601 Dhu Varren Rd, Ann Arbor MI 48105
Hours and Rules
Open 6 a.m.-midnight with quiet hours beginning at 10 p.m. 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. Smoking is prohibited
, and dogs must be on leash
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.
- Age: Acquired in 2019
- Size: 15.3 acres
- Ecosystem types: Dry-mesic forest, buttonbush swamp
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 Transit: The nearest bus stop is on Dhu Varren Road, and is about a 10 minute walk from the trail entrance on Hickory. Visit The Ride for closest stops and route details or check out the parks ride guide.
There are ongoing and limitless opportunities for volunteering and getting engaged with the Ann Arbor Parks and Recreation Services Unit. Natural Area Preservation has volunteer opportunities that support their mission to protect and restore Ann Arbor's natural areas and to foster an environmental ethic within the community. If you are feeling the call to volunteer or give some time, reach out or explore the website above to see what’s upcoming or how to get involved.
Report a Problem - A2 Fix It
To report any maintenance issues or other problem during your park visit, please report through A2Fix It. When reporting an issue in a park please include location details. There is a details and description section near the end of the request process to help you provide this. In addition, users can utilize the pin (website) or X (mobile app) feature to provide specific location information inside the park. Finally, please consider including a wide angle photo or include background landmarks, which helps staff find and fix the problem.
Gifts and Donations
Information on donating to the parks and the Guide to Giving can be found here. For special projects ideas in natural areas, Natural Area Preservation staff will guide you and provide project guidelines unique to natural areas.
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
Updated July 2022. Email [email protected] for incorrect/outdated information.