Edwin S. George Reserve
A tract of land, comprising approximately 1,250 acres in Putnam and Unadilla townships in Livingston County, Michigan, twenty miles northwest of Ann Arbor, was given to the University in April, 1930, by Colonel Edwin S. George of Detroit. In presenting this gift the object of the donor was twofold: to make a definite contribution to education and to enable youth "to come in contact with the out-of-doors." Specifically, it was his intention to "further visual education in the natural sciences and for the purpose of preserving and demonstrating the native fauna and flora to the end that students interested in zoology, ornithology, botany, nature study and nature sketching, landscape studies, parks in the broad natural sense, or ecology, may here find material for observation and satisfy and develop the love for God's out-of-doors, — Nature" (R.P., 1929-32, p. 235).
The Reserve was to be administered by the Regents, who agreed to make it available to nature study groups and to provide a curator and such assistants as necessary "for the proper protection and care of the animals and plants, to provide for the upkeep of the necessary fences, buildings, and equipment, and to assume the expense of such planting, road building, and other developments as may be considered advisable" (R.P., 1929-32, pp. 235-36).
The Board adopted the following resolution in April, 1930:
Resolved, That the Regents of the University of Michigan with deep realization of its significance to the educational advantages of the State throughout the future accept with deep gratitude the Edwin George Reserve of the University of Michigan as tendered to this Board by the donor in his communication herein above appearing under date of April 4, 1930.
(R.P., 1929-32, p. 237.)
The Edwin S. George Reserve, protected from the ravages of man, is becoming of increasing importance owing to the gradual reduction of other natural areas for study within a reasonable distance of the University of Michigan. The Reserve is characteristic of many of the glaciated areas of southeastern Michigan. Rolling hills, steep slopes, and wooded ridges are intermingled with marshes and swamps. Numerous ponds, five permanent springs, and a small bog lake add to the types of aquatic environments. This out-of-door laboratory is protected by a firebreak and is enclosed with six miles of seven-foot, dogtight fence. A system of roads and trails enmeshes the whole. Facilities include houses for the curator, the custodian, and three student families. A modern, all-weather, four-man laboratory built with the proceeds derived from the sale of excess deer provides living and research quarters for investigators.
The Reserve was administered for many years directly by the Museum of Zoology. In August, 1950, the Board of Regents appointed the Director of the Page 1636Museum of Zoology as the Director of the Edwin S. George Reserve and chairman of an Executive Committee representing the various groups and fields interested in the use of the Reserve for research.
Colonel George never lost interest in the Reserve. Individual gifts of additional lands have increased the area to over 1,335 acres. Grants of money have supported field work, permitted publication of finished research, and paid for improvements of the physical lay-out. An Edwin S. George Reserve Fellowship Fund was endowed in 1941 to provide some financial support for outstanding and deserving students conducting research on the Reserve.