Remembering Edna Newnan, a Valuable MNA Leader

Edna Newnan was more than a volunteer at MNA. She was an essential force.

During her work with the organization, which began in the 1960s, Edna served as President, board member and co-editor of “In Retrospect,” a book that covers the early history of MNA. Published in 1988, the book is a constant reminder of Edna’s love for nature and her efforts that always went above-and-beyond. Her work helped MNA better protect Michigan’s special natural areas, and resonates the importance of protection and stewardship throughout Michigan.

MNA Executive Director Jeremy Emmi remembers Edna as incredibly good-natured, intelligent and inquisitive.

“She was always reading and learning more,” Jeremy says. “She had such a complete and total love for the outdoors.”

And even when her term as a board member and President came to an end, Edna remained active in MNA’s Mission, working particularly hard on a statewide land protection campaign that ran from 2004 through 2007.

Edna earned a Bachelor of Arts degree from Oakland University in 1967 and a Master’s of Arts from the University of Michigan in 1974. She also undertook ministerial studies and Marygrove College. As a naturalist, Edna studied under Walter Nichols of the Cranbrook Institute of Science.

Her compassion for conservation led her to become involved in environmental causes and apply that knowledge to her work at MNA. Edna also enjoyed traveling, dog breeding, bird watching and yoga.

Edna will be remembered by many for her loyalty, selfless leadership and concern for others. MNA will always remember her for her dedication and generous service to the natural world.