Fallen Trees Find New Home at Human Nature School

A mid-September storm brought damage and destruction across northern Michigan. Dozens of trees surrounding Grand Traverse Resort and Spa were knocked down, but fortunately given a new purpose at the Human Nature School.

“We have 900 acres here and thousands of trees,” says Paul Galligan, the Resort’s director of golf and grounds. “Sadly, we lost about 65 trees during the storm in September, but we were also able to salvage some.” While most of the trees suffered extensive damage, the Resort was able to power down their chainsaws and set some aside for good use. “We had four, 12-foot white pine logs and 12, 10-foot spruce logs that were in solid condition. We heard Human Nature School near Cedar was working on a barn and these pieces could help with their building.”

The Human Nature School is a non-profit dedicated to facilitating deeper connections to nature and community and has provided year-round nature connection programs in the Traverse City area since 2010. “We are so grateful to be able to resource building materials in good relationship with both nature and community,” says Matt Miller, co-founder of Human Nature School. The donated logs are being used to help build a barn that will be used for land restoration and community education purposes on a portion of the Human Nature School’s property in Cedar. “This is a volunteer-led project,” says Miller. “We have about 50 donors, including Rotary Charities, who have contributed financially and great partners like the Resort who have provided necessary supplies. With the help of the barn, we can expand our focus into Regenerative Agriculture and when we combine that with our existing programming, we’ll not only be able to help students develop a strong connection to nature, we’ll be able to empower them with the knowledge and skills needed to help solve many of the problems facing nature, in our backyards.”

The white pine logs will be milled to create siding for the barn while the spruce logs will be used for the barn doors. “This is the first time we have ever made a donation like this,” Galligan says. “It is exciting to see a piece from the Resort will be part of an important building that will make a difference in people’s lives for years to come.” The Human Nature School says the barn is expected to be finished in the spring.