That White Wooden House

Probably quaint would be the word that would pop up in your mind the first time you walk into 326, East Grand River Avenue in Williamston, Michigan. For those of you who are not familiar with this address, it’s the MNA office.

MNA Office

The MNA office was relocated to this quiet Williamston neighborhood on the East Grand River Avenue road in 2002. This white wooden house that has been made into an office by the MNA exists from 1893. Before the MNA bought this house, it was an antique shop and earlier still, a rectory of St. Mary’s Catholic Church. Not much is known about the first occupants of this house but it is fascinating how the house got to its current spot. In the early 1990s the whole house was moved from two blocks to its present location. Yes, you read it right! See the photos if you don’t believe what you just read.

The MNA office was moved from two blocks

Men at work

On the move

The outside walls of the office are painted white with ash-gray tiles on the roof. There is an old world charm to the house that you would discover as soon as you enter through the front porch of the office. There is a distinct scent of old wood that permeates the air. Wooden floors and a staircase greet visitors in the front office space. Take the flight of stairs (which is a wee bit creaky) all the way up to the second floor where there are three rooms and an office/kitchen. The basement of the office has a conference room for meetings.

Wooden staircase


Being centrally located in the state of Michigan makes the MNA office accessible from most major cities like Lansing, Detroit and Ann Arbor.

Map to the MNA office

If driving down from Lansing, you can either take the I-496 E and I-96 E which takes nearly 25 minutes or the W Grand River Ave/MI-43 E that takes half hour. For directions, click here.

It takes a little over an hour to get to the MNA office from Detroit. For directions, click here.

From Ann Arbor it takes a little over 50 minutes if you take US-23 N and I-96 W. If driving from MI-52 N, it takes nearly 1 hour 15 minutes. For directions, click here.

We hope to see you!

—- Text by Anusuya Das —-

The ABC’s of Michigan’s Nature Sanctuaries

A scenic view from the Keweena Shores. Photo by Charlie Eshbach

You may know that the Michigan Nature Association’s sanctuaries are great places to visit and discover the vast array of what Michigan’s environment has to offer.  What you may not know is that MNA sanctuaries are classified with a letter system that distinguishes which ones are visitor friendly and which ones may be off limits to the public.  Let’s take a look at how the MNA classifies its sanctuaries.

  • “A” class sanctuaries are easy to find, and open to all MNA members and the public for visitation.
  • “B” class sanctuaries can be difficult to find or visit, and is open to all MNA members and the public for visitation.
  • “C” class sanctuaries are a special case – These are considered “Sensitive Habitats” and are off limits for visitors without a guide. Want to arrange a guided visit?  They can be scheduled by calling 517-655-5655.

Don’t know which class a sanctuary is?  No problem, you can look up any of MNA’s sanctuaries with this sanctuary locator guide.

So before you visit a MNA sanctuary, make sure you’ve done your homework to make sure you’ll be able to enjoy everything they have to offer!