Urban Sanctuary

  • LOCATION: West side Grand Rapids
  • 7 acre “country” setting in urban neighborhood.
  • Over 100 species of native plants added or encouraged to grow on the property.
  • Ongoing monitoring for and addressing of non-native invasive plants.
  • Owner is a Certified Master Naturalist, member and past president of Wild Ones River City Chapter, and a volunteer monitor for the Michigan Butterfly Network. She has written two novels with environmental themes.

The owner describes her property as “a patch of wilderness hidden deep inside the city of Grand Rapids.” When she and her husband purchased 2.5 acres in 1988 the vacant lot was a ragged lawn and a wooded ravine clogged with invasive species and neighborhood trash. Over the decades they have added hundreds of native trees, shrubs, heirloom perennials and wildflowers.

In 2018 they purchased 4.5 acres bordering the property. Since then, they’ve added two oak savannas, an emergent woodland, a rain garden, a bioswale, a shady “hidden garden” and colorful beds of wildflowers.

They love the idea that their land is probably healthier than it has been in 150 years. Along the way, they have relied on both the Wild Ones River City Chapter and the Kent Conservation District – two of the best resources for creating a healthy ecosystem on your property.