Karmann Nature Center
Karmann Nature Center was not located in Ann Arbor but rather in Dearborn. But for hundreds of Ann Arbor Public School students in the sixties, it was one of our favorite places to go and 40 years later the memories are still strong. It was an 80-acre nature preserve on Ford Road owned by naturalist and conservationist Joe Karmann. Shortly after the Ann Arbor schools established it's Outdoor Education Program in the early 60s, Eunice Hendrix (pictured with Mr. Karmann above) and Bill Stapp met Karmann who agreed to let schoolchildren come on field trips to his property to learn about nature. We would go there at different times of the year to observe the changes in both the animal and plant life. The property included a woods of oak and hickory trees, a grassland, a swamp, evergreens and giant apple trees. I especially remember a trip there one winter when after spending a good amount of time exploring outside, we were invited into a small cabin where Mr. Karmann had built a fire and prepared hot chocolate for us. As we warmed up he showed us books and other artifacts having to do with nature that he kept there.
Before he passed away in 1971, Mr. Karmann was successful in getting his land designated as a wildlife sanctuary by the Conservation Commission. For the next 30-plus years his son Norbert Karmann oversaw the property, but he passed away in 2004. As of now, what the fate of the beautiful Karmann Nature Center will be is unknown.