MNA Odyssey: A Church’s Mission and A Looking Glass Sanctuary

By Tina Patterson and Dave Wendling

Photos at A Looking Glass

Members of the tour group pause to take photos of some of the beautiful prairie plants at the sanctuary. Photo by Johanna Swanson

The skies cleared after a rainy night as we gathered on August 27. This was a very special Monday for both the Odyssey Tour and members of the Church of The Fellowship For Today as we came together at A Looking Glass Sanctuary. With much to be proud of, the members of this small church fellowship had decided that preserving the 13.63 acres along the pristine A Looking Glass River was of more importance to their mission than building a structure to be used “two hours a week”. What a joy to meet the people who made the decision to make a commitment to the greater community, as well as the future, by protecting something so very special. Under the leadership of minister emeritus Beth Monteith, funds were raised to purchase what was to become A Looking Glass Sanctuary and in 2006, it was entrusted to MNA for protection and stewardship. Still very involved in the care of the sanctuary, the members of the Church of the Fellowship For Today have much to celebrate. Special recognition must be given to our oldest participant up to this point on the Odyssey, Leon Harris. Mr. Harris, who will soon turn 95, walked part of the trail with us, and it was an honor to meet this gentleman who was instrumental in finding the property that we all can enjoy in perpetuity. We hope there are many more hikes in his future!  Continue reading


MNA’s Looking Glass Nature Sanctuary Gets Cleaned-Up with Scout’s Help

by Hannah Ettema
MNA Intern

With the help of the Michigan Nature Association, 17-year-old Evan Harris is on his way to becoming an Eagle Scout. Currently Evan is a Life Scout and is working to complete the requirements for advancing to the highest rank the Boys Scouts of America bestow.

One requirement is for Evan to demonstrate his ability to organize and lead a service event. As a recommendation from his Scout Master, Evan contacted MNA Regional Stewardship Coordinator Katherine Hollins for project possibilities.

broken shed in field

Some of the material Evan helped remove

Over two weekends, Evan’s service project will be to clean up the Looking Glass Nature Sanctuary near Bath. Evan, with the help of friends and fellow scouts, will be removing an old shed and a pile of debris that is interfering with the natural process at the sanctuary.

“Working with MNA has been a really smooth process,” says Evan. After an unsuccessful partnership with another organization in the summer, Evan has been happy working with Katherine and MNA volunteers.

“Katherine walked through the sanctuary with me to figure out what we could do.”

When selecting a project, protecting nature seemed only natural to Evan.

“It’s in the Boy Scouts of America slogan: Leave No Trace (basically not destroying stuff),” he said.

In addition to organizing a service project, Evan has worked to complete a number of merit badges including ones regarding personal fitness, community duty and citizenship.

group removal debris outside

Evan and the crew work to clean the sanctuary.

Currently a high school senior, Evan would like to pursue music education at Central Michigan University after graduating.

For more information on service projects at MNA and how you can get involved, visit our website at