Blandford Nature Center celebrates the life and achievements of founder Dr. Mary Jane Dockeray in Public Tribute from September 8-11

Blandford Nature Center would like to invite the public to join in the celebration of the life and achievements of founder Dr. Mary Jane Dockeray, who passed away peacefully in Grand Rapids on August 18, 2020. She was 93 at the time.

From Wednesday September 8 through Saturday September 11 from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm, the public can view an exhibit about Dockeray’s life in the auditorium of the Mary Jane Dockeray Visitor Center at Blandford Nature Center. This multiple-day exhibit will highlight her passions and accomplishments over the span of several decades. As a pioneer in environmental education, Dockeray was a local icon who had a passion for inspiring people of all ages to fall in love with and protect nature; and this exhibit documents her journey in doing so. During this four-day exhibit, Blandford’s Historic Buildings will be open from 10:00 am to 3:00 pm each day.

Dockeray will be remembered for many things, but she is perhaps best known for her classroom visits and lectures with her ancient slide projector. With this machine in hand, she brought nature to life through vivid imagery and stories that enthralled children and adults alike. Visitors will be able to see some of her slides, as well as view a documentary about her life and a digitized version of one of her most iconic presentations, “These Things are Ours.” Visitors will be encouraged to share their personal memories of Dockeray.

Prior to Dockeray’s passing, Blandford Nature Center, in collaboration with the Land Conservancy of West Michigan, purchased the Highlands Golf Club and is in the process of implementing the master plan for that property. Dockeray always called this “our last great land conquest” and was proud to be part of saving that property from future development. Now everyone can use the new barrier-free trail that connects the Visitor Center to The Highlands to experience the beauty that Dockeray always imagined could exist on that property.

COVID-19 protocols, including social distancing and required masks for all attendees, will be in place to ensure a safe experience.

Dates: September 8 – 11, 2021
Exhibit Open Time: 9:00 am – 5:00 pm each day
Historic Buildings Open Time: 10:00 am – 3:00 pm each day
Location: Blandford Nature Center, 1715 Hillburn Ave NW, Grand Rapids, MI 49504