The Muskegon Environmental Research & Education Society, (MERES) was formed in 1996 as an outgrowth of the Muskegon Conservation Club. It acquired land that was to become the Muskegon Lake Nature Preserve in 1997. Since that time, the Muskegon Lake Nature Preserve has served the environmental educational needs of 5,000 kids per year and been a sanctuary for some 4,000 people who just walk the trails of the Preserve.

MERES is a 501-C-3 tax exempt organization and has provided the Outdoor Classroom, the Al Bell Trail, the Fred Wilder Observation tower and the Wilder River Walk, along with the trail system without direct government assistance. We are totally dependent on donations and grants. Several dedicated volunteers have worked many hours to provide this little place for nature in the heart of an urban community.

The Muskegon Lake Nature Preserve is located in North Muskegon, Michigan. It is on Lake Ave., just west of the intersection of Whitehall Rd./the Memorial Causeway and Lake Ave./ Holton Rd. Map. The land that was to become the Muskegon Lake Nature Preserve was donated at the end of 1997 to the Muskegon Environmental Research & Education Society.

The former dump looked a lot like this photo. There were huge piles of broken concrete and trash. With the help of generous contributors and many hours of volunteers, this dump was converted to a unique place in a urban setting, a nature preserve where citizens can walk and enjoy the many different kinds of birds and other wildlife. A place where school children can come and study the environment. A place where teachers can come and learn how to teach the environment. Approximately 5,000 students visit the nature preserve each year for environmental education programs.


Ron Brown, past president of the Muskegon Environmental Research Education Society, has put together this video chronicling the history of the Muskegon Lake Nature Preserve.

Mission Statement

The Society believes that the well being of our environment requires continuing environmental research and education of young people. It is the mission of the Society to support activities and projects that provide opportunities for the public to participate and observe environmental research and to provide environmental educational opportunities for students in the general Muskegon area. Wherever possible, these activities will play a simultaneous role in the revitalization of the damaged environment.