Park Address: 295 Brookside Dr, 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.
Onder Nature Area is a 4.2-acre natural area located on Ann Arbor's north side, between Pontiac Trail and US-23. View the Ann Arbor Parks & Nature Areas Map for location context. Onder is a short walk from Cloverdale Park, Huron Highlands Park, and Argo Park & Nature Area. One of this park's most important ecological features is its location. Positioned between the upland forests of Leslie Park and Black Pond Woods and the riparian complex of Argo Park & Nature Area, Bandemer Park, Barton Nature Area, Bird Hills Nature Area and Kuebler Langford Nature Area, Onder serves as a “green corridor," providing important habitat connectivity. The park consists of mesic forest, formerly dominated by ash. A few large oak trees and many black cherry and box elder fill in the overstory. There are two small streams and many pockets of wooded wetlands.
As a green corridor, Onder is a place where birds, mammals, reptiles, insects and seeds can move through the urban landscape without facing assault. The stream at the north end has a nice diversity of mesic and wet-mesic woodland wildflowers including trillium, early meadow-rue and marsh marigolds, woven together by a ground cover of Virginia creeper.
Access and Parking
The park has entry locations on both Brookside Drive and Hilldale Drive with on street parking.
The park can be accessed on foot and bicycle by using the surrounding neighborhood streets. The surrounding streets do not have sidewalks, but nearby Pontiac Trail has sidewalks and bike lanes. The neighborhood includes hiking/biking trails that link the neighborhood with a local trail system that were created by volunteers, including a small boardwalk which was installed by the Eagle Scouts.
The park is a short walk from Cloverdale Park, Huron Highlands Park, and Argo Park & Nature Area.
Public Transit: The nearest bus stop is on Pontiac Trail at Brookside, about a 7-minute walk from the park. Visit The Ride for closest stops and route details or check out the parks ride guide.
Using a phone? - Click for a GPS Tracker and Wayfinding Map
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 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.
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 about the early history of the land here.
The park was purchased in 2007 from Jan Onder, a local businesswoman and member of the Ann Arbor Public Art Commission. It had been appraised in 2005 for $480,000. Onder was a widow of Ned Shure, who ran a student bookstore in Ypsilanti and owned a popular children’s store called Generations on Main Street for many years. She and Shure owned the property together from 1992 until his death in 2001, after which it was transferred into her name. At that time, it was part of Ann Arbor Township. Before the purchase was finalized, a long discussion was held as to who was responsible for cleaning all the trash from the park. Eventually a deal was made. Today, the park, now part of the City of Ann Arbor, is surrounded by housing and was part of the Hillwood Subdivision No.4 which was developed in 1955.
View a Natural Area Preservation (NAP) newsletter highlighting Onder Nature Area: 2007 Park Focus: The Onder Property by Billy Kirst.
Updated November 2022. Email [email protected] for incorrect/outdated information.