An Open Letter to Dahlem’s Friends, Supporters, Donors, Members, Sponsors, Visitors, and Parents.  September 3, 2021 Update;

  • Outdoor Adventure Summer Day Camp
  • Little Acorns Nature Preschool
  • Community Gardens
  • Explore The Night
  • October Work Bee
  • Goblin Walks
  • Staff Spotlight
  • Sponsor Spotlight
  • Welcome New Members
  • July Donors

Thank you Camp Sponsor






Outdoor Adventure Summer Day Camp
It was a great summer camp that ended August 13th. There were nine sessions with 237 campers in attendance ages 3-12 years. The campers had a great time and we heard many positive comments from the parents about the great job the counselors did to provide a memorable experience for their kids. Thanks for an outstanding job to the 2021 staff of Sydney Wetzel, Jeremiah Rigg, Chloe Pryson, Phoebe VanHeyningen, Jeanine Hoffman and Carrie Benham. Thanks to County National Bank for their 2021 camp sponsorship.

Little Acorns Nature Preschool
Jeanine Hoffman, Lead Teacher, and Carrie Benham, Assistant Teacher, are eagerly awaiting the start of the new school year on September 7th to greet the new three-year-old students and welcoming back the returning four year olds. It is great to have both Jeanine and Carrie back in the classroom for their second year together as a team.

Community Gardens
There are many great looking gardens that are really producing great looking flowers, delicious mouthwatering vegetables and fruit. It is always a joy observing the growing season at the Community Gardens and talking to the gardeners. Volunteer bee instructors John and Kim Haynes, who are gardeners, had a wrap up class on August 29th for their students, many who had hives at the apiary at the Community Gardens.





Explore the Night
ETN resumed August 26th with future sessions scheduled on September 23rd, October 28th and November 18th. This is a wonderful program put on at Dahlem in partnership with Ella Sharp Museum. The goal for our night walk led by Dahlem Naturalist Educator Carrie Benham is to help people enjoy being outdoors after dark, help them feel safe, and share information about different subjects such as, nocturnal animals, the senses they use at night, and how we can better develop our own senses and awareness of the dark. Afterwards, Ella Sharp’s Austin Edmister will be providing guided telescope observing. We will be observing the dark sky to view the planets, watch the stars come out, and many other celestial wonders. Starting times vary because of changing sunset times with the seasons. Registration will be online at

October 9th Work Bee
Save the Date: Saturday October 9th, Dahlem will be holding our annual Fall Work Bee. Volunteers are needed to perform a wide variety of jobs. The hours are 9:00 am to 1:00 pm with a tailgate lunch to follow. Health screens will be conducted to ensure the safety of all. Please go to the webpage to see how you can help out and sign up. We need your help!


Goblin Walks

Dahlem’s most popular family event Goblin Walks returns this year to mostly the night hours on Friday October 22nd 6:30 pm – 8:30 pm and Saturday October 23rd from 5:00 pm – 7:30 pm. Registration and more details can be found on the webpage at Thanks to MACI for their sponsorship of Goblin Walks.


Staff Spotlight – Carrie Benham
Hello Friends, I’m Carrie Benham, Naturalist Educator, Little Acorns Nature Preschool Teacher Assistant, Day Camp Director, and so much more. In February 2002 I started at Dahlem as a volunteer trail leader for school programs and quickly was hired on staff. So, as you can imagine the many years serving Dahlem in many capacities has led me to be a strong utility member on the Dahlem Team. Working at Dahlem I found my niche teaching and working with students and leading special programs and events. The well-loved annual Goblin Walks is a community favorite! Another highlight is working with an awesome volunteer crew to accomplish successful programs and events. There’s no ‘I’ in Team. Everyone has a place in the ‘choir’.

Ann Arbor is my hometown where I grew up in a small outdoorsy family who loved nature, camping, and scouting in my younger years and now I continue my love for nature and adventures in my ‘young at heart’ years. Wonderful beautiful nature is where my roots are and continue to grow wherever I go. Every day something stirs my senses, such as to hear birds sing and rain drops fall, see bright colored wildflowers or the deer roam, enjoy sweet smells of nature in all kinds of weather, to gently feel a wet frog that reminds me of a slippery dill pickle, and then a little nibble on Wood Sorrel’s heart-shaped leaves tastes like sour lemon.

In my personal time I spend it with my wonderful husband Steve and our crazy fun cat family, I raise and release Monarch butterflies every summer, and year round seek out new (to me) discoveries outdoors at Dahlem and in my backyard. There is much to be found in every habitat to enjoy. When you come out to Dahlem, stop by to say hi and share your Dahlem highlights with me. I’d like to know about the special things I’ve missed and make time to experience more ‘Wow!’ moments.

Please Support our Sponsors
Our sponsors are critical to the success of our programs and events by defraying some of the costs to put on high quality programming and events.
This month’s featured sponsor is a White Pine Sponsor $5,000 – $9,999
Power Drive Systems, Inc. “Founded in 1975 and committed to Jackson and its invaluable non-profit institutions

Welcome New Members
Jim & Pam Barnes
Emilie Soper

Thank you July Donors
Dahlem’s continued financial success is dependent upon the generosity of our members and donors. We can’t survive without your help.
Barbara Anderson, John Bacon, Eaton Corporation, Corey & Ashley Fall, Debra & Tim Hanna, Healthies 101, Carolyn Hoelzle, Donald & Judy Horn, Jackson County Rocks, Dr. Gedy Love, Macchia Family Foundation, Jan & Gary Micheel, Joan Parker, Catherine Portman, Greg Steveenson, Thrivent

Thank you for your continued support of Jackson’s Nature Place. Stay Well


Ben Dandrow, Executive Director



Annual Fundraiser in 2020; covid-19 style
We have a fantastic video to share with you!   Dahlem needs your financial support more than ever.  Please contribute to whatever level you are able to afford. This year 2020 has been a nightmare for everyone. Despite the hardships all of us have endured, I take satisfaction and pride with what Dahlem has accomplished this year. It was not easy – not everyone could have done what we did and will continue to do so in the future. Experts predict that 30-40% of nonprofits will close permanently because of COVID. Dahlem will not be in that group. With your support, Dahlem is well positioned with our dedicated staff and volunteers to move ahead boldly in an uncertain future to accomplish our mission of providing environmental education and outdoor experiences.  Donate Now!

Dahlem, Jackson’s Nature Place provides Environmental Education and Outdoor Experiences to the Residents of South Central Michigan.  People of all ages benefit from the year-round programs at Dahlem. The public is welcome to walk the five miles of trails on Dahlem’s 280 acres of conserved land, including five ecosystems. All of Dahlem’s activities are made possible by contributions from the community and are fully tax-deductible. Dahlem is a non-profit 501(c)(3) registered with the State of Michigan.

Please fill out the form to make a donation online.  Thank you kindly for your generosity!

As a 501(c)3 Dahlem completely relies on the generosity of donors, members, and grants to keep our programs running. Please make Dahlem part of your legacy by remembering us in your year end donations and during estate planning. Click for more information and Thank you!