Furstenberg Nature Area

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Overview​

Furstenberg Nature Area​​ is a 38 acre park 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. 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. Since the mid 90's, Natural Area Preservation staff and volunteers have been caring for the land by doing controlled burns and invasive shrub removal. Burning is a restoration practice that was first used at Furstenberg in 1996.  

One of the best activities to do within Furstenberg is to watch wildlife. The system of trails winding through the park hold benches and viewing points, great for viewing wildlife​. The swaying cattails of Furstenberg’s marsh offer a chorus of animal sounds. Several frog species call here in the evenings from spring through early summer. First Spring Peepers appear, 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 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. ​​

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

​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

Amenities

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Drinking Fountain

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Bike Rack

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Restrooms

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Trails

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Picnic Tables​​

 

Trash & Recycling​


 
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Access 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.

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Public Transportation

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

History​​​

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

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 updates, including trails and benches, were added with the support of private donations toward the Dr. Edward O. Gilbert memorial fund. In 1993, a major grant was ac​quired from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources to preserve the river frontage. These improvements were done​ in two phases and included a boardwalk, restrooms, parking, and a bridge connecting Furstenberg to 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.

Check out the NAP Newsletter features that have featured​ 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



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