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Miller Nature Area

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​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​Park Address:​ ​1705 Mille​r Ave, Ann Arbor MI 48104​

Access          Amenities          History

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, alcohol is prohibited, and dogs must be on leash.  ​

Overview​

​​Miller Nature Area is a 22-acre nature area located on the city's west side between Miller Avenue and Arborview Boulevard. View the Ann Arbor Parks and Nature Areas map​​ for location context.​ Paths enter the park from Arborview and Miller. It is not hard to get lost on the park’s network of winding trails, so take care when hiking. The trails meander through old field remnants with many flowers and forested areas with some magnificent elm trees. This park is a good place for birders and butterfly enthusiasts during the spring and summer months.​

Access and Parking

​There is street parking at the Arborview Bou​levard entrance​ on the south end of the park. There are trail entrances off of Miller Avenue on the north end of the park, but there is no street parking on Miller Avenue. There is street parking near the Grace Street entrance​.

The park is accessible on bike and foot by walking and riding through the neighborhood streets, and by traveling along Miller Avenue. There are sidewalks along the neighborhood streets. There are sidewalks and bike lanes on Miller Avenue.

Public Transportation: The nearest stop​ is immediately adjacent to the park on Miller Avenue. Visit The Ride for closest stops and route details or check out the parks ride guide. ​


Amenities

  • Unpaved trails, view tra​il map​​
  • Landfill receptacle and bench at Arborview Boulevard entrance



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 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.​​​​

Park Stewards 

Park Stewards are experienced volunteers who have adopted a nature area to protect and restore while fostering an environmental ethic among others. Stewards are committed to ongoing and long-term care of their park. They work with NAP to develop an annual workplan that outlines restoration goals and techniques for their natural area. 

Peter Smith
Peter has been a Park Steward at Miller since 2018 and has lived adjacent to the park since 1984. It is, as he calls it, “an amazing carbon sink, groundwater filter and a well-used neighborhood resource." He feels Miller Nature Area has the potential to be a good example of how, with careful stewardship, such a disturbed area can be rehabilitated to become a quality woodland, supporting native trees, plants and wildlife, as well as the health and well-being of its human neighbors. To that end Peter can often be found, along with his fellow stewards, removing invasive plants from early fall through late spring. In addition to his work in Miller, Peter is part of the Volunteer NAP Burn Crew, and with the Forestry Department's Citizen Pruners Program.Peter Smith.jpg

Lisa Johnson
Lisa has been a Park Steward since 2019. She is a science writer and editor and retired biologist who is working three seasons a year to remove invasive species from Miller Nature Area and to encourage the regrowth of native plants.  At home she has a special interest in the long-term survival of the Monarch butterfly and cultivates a yard absent of turf and full of native pollinator plants as part of her Monarch Waystation. Lisa Johnson Pic for Website.jpg

Alyssa Pozniak
Alyssa has been a Park Steward at Miller since 2020 and is also a Rain Garden Steward at the Miller rain garden through the Washtenaw County Water Resources Office. As a neighbor who lives adjacent to the nature area, she has a personal interest in helping it return to a more native habitat as well as educating interested neighbors and visitors about the area and the benefits of native plant species. While working alongside the other stewards, she has learned a great deal about the benefits of native plants and has worked to incorporate them into her own yard, too.

Ellen Ward
Ellen, along with her husband Jim Young, has lived near the park since 1995. Although Ellen is an avid walker, she avoided the park for many years because the invasives, such as honeysuckle, made it feel claustrophobic and unsafe. However, in 2020 she came across Pete and Lisa working to clear the invasives and decided to join them. After volunteering for several months, she officially became a Park Steward in 2022. She enjoys seeing the park become a habitat for more native plants and hearing her neighbors talk about how the changes are inspiring them to use the park.
Ellen Ward.jpg

Jim Young
Jim has been a Park Steward at Miller since 2022. Having rediscovered the park via numerous walks during the COVID pandemic, he is excited to continue the improvements in Miller towards a more natural state. These make the park more welcoming for visitors (people and pets), as well as the natural inhabitants (numerous species of plants and animals).
Jim Young.jpg

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 he​re​. For special projects ideas in natural areas, Natural Area Preservation​ staff will guide you and provide project guidelines unique to natural areas.​​​

History​

The land that became Miller Nature Area was originally logged in the 1800s and then used as farmland. After 1950 the land was used as a gravel pit, supplying stone to the nearby houses.  The geography of the area shows evidence of both activities. The land was purchased by the city in 1976 from Philip and Clara Seymour and Charles and Rita Gelman. The park site was then annexed from the Township of Ann Arbor to the City of Ann Arbor in 1978. Even after it became parkland, the area was subject to illegal dumping. Volunteers and stewards with Natural Area Preservation (NAP) have helped curb the waste dumping and restore the area, promoting the growth of native species, after a long history of land ​exploitation.​ Learn more about the history and restoration efforts at Miller Nature Area:

Park Focus: Miller Nature Area by ​​Dana Wright, 2003



Updated June 2022. Email [email protected] for incorrect/outdated information. ​​​​​