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Furstenberg Nature Area

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​​​​​​​​​​​Park ​Address: 2626 Fuller Road Ann Arbor, MI 481​05


 

Access       Amenities         History


 

Hours and Rules   

Open 6 a.m.-midnight with quiet hours beginning at 10 p.m. Refer to Chapter 39 of the City of Ann Arbor Code of Ordinances for park regulations and rules. Smoking is prohibited dogs must be on leash​ and no bikes on the boardwalk. 


 

Overview 

Furstenberg Nature Area is a 38 acre park near the center of Ann Arbor on Fuller Road just west of Gallup Park. View the Ann Arbor Parks and Nature Areas map for location context. Most of the park’s border lies along the Huron River. The park contains wetlands, woodlands, prairie, and oak savanna. A half-mile paved trail loops through the park, and a granular trail goes through the prairie and woods, connecting to 1/4 mile of wetland boardwalk which connects to the western edge of Gallup Park. Natural Area Preservation staff and volunteers have been making ecological improvements to this area since the mid-90s through controlled burns and invasive shrub removal. Burning is a restoration practice that was first used at Furstenberg in 1996.  


 

One of the most delightful activities to do within Furstenberg is to watch wildlife. The system of trails winding through the park hold benches and viewing points to catch a glimpse of some of the interesting species that establish themselves in the spring. The swaying cattails of Furstenberg’s marsh offer a chorus of animal vocalizations. Several frog species call here in the evenings from spring through early summer - first Spring Peepers, then American Toads, then Gray Treefrogs, and finally Green Frogs in the late summer. During the day, Red-winged blackbirds make their famous “konk-la-ree” song, an indicator of the spring. Along the Huron River, there are more observation opportunities. The rare Trumpeter Swan will take a breather here in winter before making its way to small ponds in Ann Arbor and the surrounding area to nest in the spring. Painted turtles, after a long winter snooze, will begin to sun themselves during the first balmy days at Furstenberg. Wildlife is abundant and exciting at this park. ​


 

An interpretive brochure leads the visitor through a series of numbered posts explaining the natural ecosystems. 


 

Access Points and Parking 

There is a parking lot at the main entrance to the nature area at 2626 Fuller Road​. The park can also be accessed from Gallup Park via pedestrian bridge and trails or from Huron High School a​cross Fuller Road. Furstenberg Nature Area has a bike rack as bikes are prohibited on the boardwalks within the park. 


 

Parking for Gallup. Because Gallup Park can reach parking capacity, consider parking at Furstenberg​ for a pleasant 20 minute walk to the Gallup canoe livery. 


Public Transportation: There are not any convenient bus stops within a 10 minute walk ​to Furstenberg Nature Area. However, there are a few options for a 12-15 minute walk. Visit The Ride for closest stops and route details or check out the parks ride guide​ 



 

Amenities 

  • Picnic tables and benches throughout. View pdf asset map​ for amenity locations ​
  • Landfill and recycling receptacles, view parks recycling​ 
  • Restrooms near parking lot, open seasonally
  • Drinking Fountain 
  • Bike Rack





 

Volunteer 

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 among its citizens. If you are feeling the tug 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.  Keep in mind that parks are large spaces and A2 Fix It requests can be difficult to find without detailed information. 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.​​
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History 

The land that is now Furstenberg Park was owned by Huron Farms Company (later succeeded by Detroit Edison) until 1939.  It was then purchased by Albert and Elizabeth Furstenberg.  In 1971 the area was acquired for $90,000 by the City of Ann Arbor to “preserve and protect the Huron River Valley”.  The purchase was financed with a H.U.D. Open Space Grant for use as “park purposes.” 

 
The land was largely undeveloped as a park through the 1980s.  In 1986 it was even used by the City for clean fill dumping. In 1992, several improvements including trails, benches, and a marker were added with the support of private donations toward the Dr. Edward O. Gilbert memorial fund.  In 1993, a major grant was acquired from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources to preserve the river frontage.  These improvements were implemented in two phases and included a boardwalk, restrooms, parking, and a bridge connecting Furstenberg to adjacent Gallup Park. The bridge’s opening, along with the official grand opening of the park, happened in 1996.  The landscape architect who designed these improvements, Peter Pollack of Pollack Designs in Ann Arbor, was given an award from the American Society of Landscape Architects for his design.


 

To read more about Furstenberg Nature Area history, volunteer efforts, ecological restoration and other Natural Area Preservation​ activities, check out the NAP Newsletter features that have highlighted Furstenberg:  

1996 Park Focus: Furstenberg Park Nature Area by Deb Paxton 

2005 Park Focus: Furstenberg Nature Area by Amanda Sprader

2018 Park Focu​​s: Furstenberg Nature Area by Alex Cherry


 

Updated April 2021. Email [email protected] for incorrect/outdated information.