An Open Letter to Dahlem’s Friends, Supporters, Donors, Members, Sponsors, Visitors, and Parents

September 18, 2020 Update

Little Acorns Nature Preschool:
Mrs. Jeanine Hoffman, Lead Teacher, and Interim Assistant Teacher Carrie Benham and Naturalist Educator, welcomed 39 Little Acorn students on September 8th. Thank you parents for your outstanding cooperation with our new COVID registration and daily health checks of our students. It was great to see the kids back again in the classroom. The staff is looking forward to an exciting new school year.

Community Gardens
It has been a great summer at the Gardens. The gardens have produced a bountiful harvest of fresh fruit and vegetables that is winding down as Fall approaches. This year all the plots were occupied and I hope everybody comes back next Spring. It is a joyful experience talking to the gardeners and watching their plants grow during the spring and summer.

Annual Fall Work Bee and Tailgate Lunch Saturday October 3rd 9:00 am – 1:00 pm.  There is so much that needs to be done because volunteer activity has been nonexistent because of COVID. We are going to have a Safe and Healthy Work Bee on Saturday October 3rd from 9 am – 1 pm. Keeping with the season there will be a tailgate luncheon following the Work Bee. Please come out and help us by signing up online at 

Goblin Walks October 24 & 25 Saturday and Sunday afternoons
COVID-19 has changed everything and unfortunately Goblin Walks was not spared. This year it will be a day event. This pains me but after discussions with the staff and volunteer actors who put on the skits, it was decided for health and safety reasons that it would be best to move it to the daylight hours on Saturday and Sunday. Parents and Grandparents bring your kids out because it is still going to be a fun event! There will still be the great educational skits, photo opportunities, and a snack to take home. Pre-Registration is required. The hours are Saturday October 24th, 12:30 pm – 2:00 pm and 3:00 pm – 4:30 pm. Sunday the 25th the hours are 2:00 pm – 4:00 pm. Register online at or call the office during business hours 517-782-3453.

Explore the Night; Trail Hikes, Observations and Astronomy! Kicked off on August 20th with Part 2 held Thursday night September 17th to full crowds. They have been a glowing success. There are two more sessions planned for October 15 and November 19. See details and register online at the Ella Sharp Museum website.  Program generously sponsored by CP Federal Credit Union.


Annual Poinsettia Sale Fundraiser

Please help support Dahlem by buying your holiday Poinsettias at Dahlem. Once again we will be selling a beautiful selection of poinsettias for your holiday season starting October 1st. Orders can be placed online October 1st to November 1st at Poinsettias can be picked up at the office starting December 4th.

Holiday Bazaar
Unfortunately, the much beloved annual Holiday Bazaar has been canceled this year because of COVID-19.

The Impact of the cancellation of the Annual October Benefit Luncheon on Dahlem. As announced last month, the annual fundraiser has been postponed until sometime in 2021. Nothing is definite. This does not mean the need for donations that comes from this event has gone away. If fact just the opposite is true as the need for your generosity has never been greater. The 30-year lease signed with Jackson College in 2005, when Dahlem became a 501(c)(3), prohibited any commercial activity not related to Environmental Education thus making Dahlem heavily dependent on unrestricted donations for operations and survival. Experts in the field of nonprofit fundraising have predicted that 33% of nonprofits will not survive the COVID crisis. Dahlem because of judicious financial management will survive but we do need your help. I truly believe we deserve the support we are asking for because we have been true to our Mission of providing Environmental Education and Outdoor Experiences to the people of south central Michigan. Dahlem’s trails remained open throughout the darkest days of March, April, May, and early June when the State of Michigan was under strict Shelter in Place orders. It is extremely gratifying recalling the numbers of extended families walking the trails, and enjoying picnics on the lawns. One of the most gratifying notes I’ve received came from an anonymous donor who wrote “a small donation as a thank you for staying open during the lockdown. You helped save our sanity”.

Thank You to our Generous August Donors:
• Barb Anderson
• Carolyn Hoelzle
• Joan Parker
• Reid Atherton
• Macchia Family Foundation
• Kathryn Keersmaekers
• Justin Phelps
• Karen Chaprnka
• David and Tracy Spring
• James and Sherry Mapes
• Sue Macrellis
• Grand River Brewery
• Loretta and James Potoczak

Some Sad News:
Paul Brencher was a longtime supporter, volunteer and community gardener at Dahlem passed away last week at the age of 88. RIP Paul.

Stay well and be Healthy! Thank you for your continued support of Jackson’s Nature Place.

Ben Dandrow
Executive Director

Goblin Walks!
Register for Saturday October 24th Afternoon
Register for Sunday October 25th Afternoon

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!