Mackinac State Historic Parks (MSHP) is pleased to announce the hiring of Kyle Bagnall as Park Naturalist. He began work on Monday, February 8, and his office is in the Petersen Center in Mackinaw City. Bagnall will oversee Historic Mill Creek Discovery Park as well as all natural history projects throughout the MSHP system, including Mackinac Island.
“We announce this hiring with confidence that Kyle brings excellent skills and experience to the position of Park Naturalist,” said Steve Brisson, Mackinac State Historic Parks Director.
Bagnall is not a stranger to the Mackinac area. He first started at MSHP in the Mackinac Island Scout Service Camp from 1984-1989, with Troop 168 of Port Huron. From 1990-1994, he worked as a Fort Mackinac historic interpreter, also exploring and birding across the island. Bagnall studied both natural and cultural history, receiving his B.A. in Public History from Western Michigan University in 1993. From 1995-2017, he worked as Manager of Historical Programs at Chippewa Nature Center in Midland, Michigan where his focus was environmental history, connecting visitors to nature through time. He also served as a naturalist, leading birding trips in Michigan and northern Ohio. In 2017, he was named Program Manager at Whiting Forest of Dow Gardens in Midland. There, he developed programs, tours, and exhibits featuring the longest forest canopy walk in the nation. In 2019, his team hosted the Whiting Forest Birding Festival.
Bagnall and his wife Jenny enjoy hiking, kayaking, snowshoeing, and exploring the outdoors all year. His daughter, Sophia, also served in the Mackinac Island Scout Service Camp and worked as a MSHP Guest Services Representative in 2016. A graduate of Grand Valley State University, she’s now enrolled in the Elliott School of International Affairs at George Washington University. Jenny’s son, Max, attends Central Michigan University and her daughter, Emerson, is a student at Delta College.
With a lifelong passion for sharing nature with others, Bagnall notes, “I’m thrilled to be joining the MSHP staff as Park Naturalist. There is no better place to explore nature and history together than Mackinac. In every season, I look forward to bringing special stories of the Straits to life for visitors of all ages.”
The interview team for this position was Chief Curator Craig Wilson, Curator of Archaeology Dr. Lynn Evans, and Chief of Marketing Dominick Miller.
Mackinac State Historic Parks, a family of living history museums and parks in northern Michigan’s Straits of Mackinac, is an agency within the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Its sites—which are accredited by the American Alliance of Museums—include Fort Mackinac, the Biddle House, The Richard and Jane Manoogian Mackinac Art Museum, Historic Downtown Mackinac, and Mackinac Island State Park on Mackinac Island, and Colonial Michilimackinac, Old Mackinac Point Lighthouse, Historic Mill Creek Discovery Park and Michilimackinac State Park in Mackinaw City. Mackinac State Historic Parks is governed by the Mackinac Island State Park Commission, established in 1895 to protect, preserve and present the parks’ rich historic and natural resources for the education and recreation of future generations. Visitor information is available at (231) 436-4100 or on the web at www.mackinacparks.com.