We are a group that is working toward the preservation of the land at Boys Totem Town as a natural area for the good of the community and the good of the environment. Research and reaching out began in September of 2016.
Ideas for the site:
- Remain an open space - with interpretive trails and education
- Historic preservation and interpretation. Explore the native american/indigenous peoples presence on the site, as well as the history of the juvenile justice system through Boys Totem Town - and create intrepretation and educaiton opportunities to acknowledge and honor that history.
- Nature Center -- to tie in with all Battle Creek Parks and offer kid, family and community classes.
- Residential Environmental Learning Center (ELC) - show that you don't have to bus kids 50 miles to see and learn about Nature and Natural spaces. A huge expense for schools to send kids to an ELC is the cost of bussing to these far away places. Many kids say going to an ELC is the high light of their school years.
- Community Center (with Nature Center?) as gathering/education space. Available to all. This space is close to a HUGE number of folks living in apartments - walking distance actually. A community and green space would greatly improve their quality of life.
- Community Gardens & Farmers Market
- Your idea here!
Part of that work is researching the:
- benefits of natural areas to people -- especially children, such as mental health, physical health, cognitive improvements, etc.
- various habitats that exist on the site, such as wetlands, ponds, vernal ponds, oak savanna, etc.
- ecological importance of these habitats and the type of plants, mammals, birds and amphibians that call it home and depend on it for their existence.
- economic benefits and costs associated with it as an open space.
- historical importance of the site.
- benefits of having the space house a Nature Center, Residential Environmental Learning Center, Cultural Center or Community Center which could build community, provide meeting spaces, education, gardens, bring more people to nature and generate monies.
- possible funding sources to secure the site.
- possible partners to work with us in supporting preserving the site as a natural area.