Nankin Mills Interpretive Center

Nankin Mills Interpretive Center This is the official page for the Nankin Mills Interpretive Center to share information about the unique natural and historic areas in our Park.
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The Nankin Mills Interpretive Center is open from 8:00 a.m. - 4:30 p.m. Monday - Friday and Saturdays from 9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m.

04/11/2017

In an effort to provide you with more information about exciting programs hosted by Wayne County Parks, we are merging the Nankin Mills Interpretive Center page with the Wayne County Parks page. You will continue to receive information on Nankin Mills' programs as well as information on other great programs and events offered year round.

Southeast Michigan Butterfly Association celebrated their 10th anniversary tonight at Nankin Mills! They have been holdi...
01/19/2017

Southeast Michigan Butterfly Association celebrated their 10th anniversary tonight at Nankin Mills! They have been holding their monthly programs here since 2007! Congratulations SEMBA! President Carolyn Sohoza handed out 10 year membership pins and cake was had by all!

So many happy faces at Nankin Mills tonight making crafts, playing holiday games, singing Christmas carols and sharing s...
12/11/2016

So many happy faces at Nankin Mills tonight making crafts, playing holiday games, singing Christmas carols and sharing special wishes with Santa as we and the Friends of Nankin lit the mill for the 29th year!!

Sign up today for the Family Holiday Fest and Mill Lighting at Nankin Mills! The event takes place on Saturday, December...
11/29/2016

Sign up today for the Family Holiday Fest and Mill Lighting at Nankin Mills! The event takes place on Saturday, December 10 from 4:00-6:00 p.m. at Nankin Mills Interpretive Center in Westland. There will be games, crafts and pictures with Santa! Call (734) 261-1990 to register today!

We had a great group of 5th graders from Thorne Elementary in Dearborn Heights visit the Interpretive Center this week t...
10/29/2016

We had a great group of 5th graders from Thorne Elementary in Dearborn Heights visit the Interpretive Center this week to explore Native American history in the Great Lakes. The students and teachers were fantastic!

Hey what is that in the millrace??
10/28/2016

Hey what is that in the millrace??

Nankin Mills Interpretive Center wishes everyone a Happy Halloween. We enjoyed having so many visitors come out and meet...
10/28/2016

Nankin Mills Interpretive Center wishes everyone a Happy Halloween. We enjoyed having so many visitors come out and meet the mythical creatures who were here, Bigfoot, Gremlin, Phoenix, Wood Fairy and. Scottish Highlander who claimed to see Loch Ness monster in our millrace!

It was another great year for SEMBA (Southeast Michigan Butterfly Association) events at Nankin Mills Interpretive Cente...
10/22/2016

It was another great year for SEMBA (Southeast Michigan Butterfly Association) events at Nankin Mills Interpretive Center. The year end potluck and raffle was enjoyed by all! Join us in January for another year of learning and fun!

We had such a nice group of third graders visit Nankin Mills Interpretive Center this week from Violet Elementary to hik...
10/22/2016

We had such a nice group of third graders visit Nankin Mills Interpretive Center this week from Violet Elementary to hike and learn about trees, make leaf rubbings and also learn about Native American culture in the Great Lakes! They did a great job!

Students and parents from Meet Up Home School group enjoyed a field trip to historic Nankin Mills to learn about Pioneer...
10/07/2016

Students and parents from Meet Up Home School group enjoyed a field trip to historic Nankin Mills to learn about Pioneer life today. They made their own butter, candles and cider, tried some tug of war and sack races and learned about the old Nankin gristmill! It was a fun day for all learning about life in the 1800s!

We hope you can join us next Friday or Saturday, October 14 or 15 for another fun-filled Halloween Forest Fun Hike and L...
10/07/2016

We hope you can join us next Friday or Saturday, October 14 or 15 for another fun-filled Halloween Forest Fun Hike and Live Creatures from around the world!!

09/30/2016

Look carefully as you hike in the Koppernick Section of Holliday Nature Preserve! Woolly aphids love to suck sap from beech tree branches in a big group, and bust a few moves as well! If you disturb the nymphs, they try to freak out predators by wagging their abdomens, hence the nickname 'boogie boogie aphid'! There is one carnivorous butterfly in Michigan whose caterpillars eat the nymphs of this aphid, the Harvester butterfly. It must tickle! The adult butterfly eats the honeydew the adult aphids make from the beach sap! Isn't nature something! So you think you can dance?!

Native American Heritage Day is tomorrow, Saturday, September 24!  The event is now held at the Nankin Mills Picnic Area...
09/23/2016

Native American Heritage Day is tomorrow, Saturday, September 24! The event is now held at the Nankin Mills Picnic Area, across Hines Drive from Nankin Mills. Grand Entry is at 1 pm and the event lasts until 5 pm. It's a FREE event and everyone is welcome to come share and experience the culture of the Great Lakes First People! Dance competitions, native artisans selling their work, native food and more will be here to enjoy! Bring your own lawn chairs or blankets as seating is limited! These photos were taken last year by David Ries, Design Department Manager for Wayne County Parks. It's a beautiful event so don't miss it!

One of our most popular and visually stunning events is Native American Heritage Day!! This year the event will be held ...
09/16/2016

One of our most popular and visually stunning events is Native American Heritage Day!! This year the event will be held on Saturday, September 24, 2016, 1:00 - 5:00 pm. Due to its popularity, we have moved the event to the Nankin Mills Recreation area, across the street from Nankin Mills. Please join us to celebrate the culture of Michigan's First People with dancing, food, crafts and many other activities!!

This month the little Henry Ford Nankin Mills schoolhouse is getting ready to travel to Greenmead Historical Village whe...
09/15/2016

This month the little Henry Ford Nankin Mills schoolhouse is getting ready to travel to Greenmead Historical Village where it will be used again as a classroom and archive area!

In 2011, the Perrinsville Elementary Building surrounding Nankin Mills Ford School was demolished. The little Henry Ford...
09/15/2016

In 2011, the Perrinsville Elementary Building surrounding Nankin Mills Ford School was demolished. The little Henry Ford Nankin School was saved! (At Farmington Road and Ann Arbor Trail)

Henry Ford built the Nankin Mills Schoolhouse at Farmington Road and Ann Arbor Trail in 1937 for the children of his emp...
09/15/2016

Henry Ford built the Nankin Mills Schoolhouse at Farmington Road and Ann Arbor Trail in 1937 for the children of his employees at the Nankin Mills Village Industry Plant. It was part of his Edison Institute School System and taught many subjects besides the 3 R's, such as dance, gardening, shop, home economics. Ford paid the teacher's salaryand medical and dental expenses for the students! Several of the other Village Industry sites had schools associated with them, such as Cherry Hill, Willow Run, Saline, Clarkston. Perrinsville Elementary School was built around the small schoolhouse and the historic school continued to be used by Livonia Schools as a Kindergarten room. Later it was a Headstart school.

New cedar shingles for the ol' gristmill! 😃
09/14/2016

New cedar shingles for the ol' gristmill! 😃

The western section of Holliday Nature Preserve, also known as Koppernick, has one of the most diverse collections of fe...
09/13/2016

The western section of Holliday Nature Preserve, also known as Koppernick, has one of the most diverse collections of ferns in our area. Almost 20 species grow here! On Saturday, September 17, at 1:00 pm we will meet at the Koppernick parking area and take a leisurely hike to find the different ferns and learn clues to identifying them and distinguishing them from the others. Dress for possible insects, muddy trails or rain.

Such nice groups of Cadette Girl Scouts at Nankin Mills Interpretive Center this morning from Livonia, Westland and Gard...
09/10/2016

Such nice groups of Cadette Girl Scouts at Nankin Mills Interpretive Center this morning from Livonia, Westland and Garden City to earn their Tree Badge!!

Calling all Cub Scouts!!  We will have walk-in registration open on Thursday, September 15, 8:30 am at Nankin Mills. Som...
09/09/2016

Calling all Cub Scouts!! We will have walk-in registration open on Thursday, September 15, 8:30 am at Nankin Mills. Some of the badge programs fill up the first day, so try to make it if you can! Mailed-in or phoned-in registration will NOT be accepted until September 16. See the flier for more details.

If you visit the Nankin Mills Interpretive Center Ford Village Industry floor, you will find the Brown and Sharpe Screw ...
09/08/2016

If you visit the Nankin Mills Interpretive Center Ford Village Industry floor, you will find the Brown and Sharpe Screw machine on display. It is just like the machines used here by Henry Ford in the 1920s to make screws, which were taken back to the Highland Park plant to assemble Model-T's. It was part of Ford's plan to bring work to the country for the struggling farmers and decentralize industry (while also building the largest industrial complex in the world)!!

Join us at Nankin Mills Interpretive Center to celebrate Michigan's beautiful fall season on Saturday, September 10, 201...
09/06/2016

Join us at Nankin Mills Interpretive Center to celebrate Michigan's beautiful fall season on Saturday, September 10, 2016 from 1:00 - 3:00 pm! We will make colorful leaf print T-shirts, watch a cider-making demonstration and have a taste of cider and hike to enjoy the trees as they bring on the autumn color show!! Program is for ages 6 to adult. See the flier for more detail.

Holliday Nature Preserve is home to two heron rookeries, an area of dead trees where several pairs will nest. I have alw...
09/01/2016

Holliday Nature Preserve is home to two heron rookeries, an area of dead trees where several pairs will nest. I have always thought the large-sized babies look comical hanging out of the nests, not to mention the parents so high up in the trees!

Nankin millrace may no longer power the waterwheel or the turbine, but the wildlife sure enjoys it! Last week there were...
08/30/2016

Nankin millrace may no longer power the waterwheel or the turbine, but the wildlife sure enjoys it! Last week there were two huge snapping turtles mating (sorry no photos)! Three different species of heron frequently fish here, Black-crowned night heron, Green heron and Great blue heron. The green herons had a nest right outside my office window one year!

I enjoyed sharing the beauty of our beautiful Bennett Arboretum this past Saturday during our Deciduous Tree Hike. I lov...
08/26/2016

I enjoyed sharing the beauty of our beautiful Bennett Arboretum this past Saturday during our Deciduous Tree Hike. I love the rolling topography out there and the unique trees that were planted in the 1930s. We have had a lot of work done in the Arboretum and it is so enjoyable to be able to see the trees better! We will be hosting another hike, the Conifer Collections this time, on November 5. I hope you can join us to experience this wonderful place in Wayne County Parks!

Who knows what these are? Similar ones were made by Ford Village Industry workers at the Waterford Plant on Hines Drive!...
08/25/2016

Who knows what these are? Similar ones were made by Ford Village Industry workers at the Waterford Plant on Hines Drive! Precision gage blocks. I want to thank Mary Podzikowski for giving the people who came to our Ford VI presentation a tour at E & P Form Tool where she, her parents and son taught us so much! Also thanks to Dan for explaining gage blocks! It was fascinating to see first hand the type of highly skilled work that was done at the Village Industries!!

Please join us at Nankin Mills Interpretive Center this Saturday, August 27, at 9 am for a Naturalist-led bird hike!  Du...
08/24/2016

Please join us at Nankin Mills Interpretive Center this Saturday, August 27, at 9 am for a Naturalist-led bird hike! Due to the river and millrace, we get a lot of different bird species near our building! Please call the Park Office to pre-register so that the Naturalist may call you if there is a weather-related rescheduling. We hope to see you Saturday!

Whether it's a leisurely hike through our historic Bennett Arboretum to enjoy the trees or a chance to make your own fam...
08/17/2016

Whether it's a leisurely hike through our historic Bennett Arboretum to enjoy the trees or a chance to make your own family bat roosting house, Nankin Mills Interpretive Center is the place to experience and learn about nature this Saturday! Please join us for one or both of our programs highlighted on the fliers below! We will be meeting at the Arboretum in Northville for the afternoon hike. Please call the Wayne County Parks office at 734-261-1990 to pre-register for the programs so that Naturalists may contact you with any program updates, such as weather-related rescheduling.

Henry Ford history buffs, please join us this Saturday, July 23 at 1:00 pm to learn more about Ford's Village Industry p...
07/21/2016

Henry Ford history buffs, please join us this Saturday, July 23 at 1:00 pm to learn more about Ford's Village Industry project here at Nankin Mills and 19 other sites in Southeast Michigan. It is a fascinating piece of Ford history and an interesting social experiment! We hope to see you here! The program is $3 per person, payable at the door. Bring your friends to learn more about our local history!

Let's go fly a kite, up to the highest height!!  Join us this Saturday, July 9 at 1 pm at Nankin Mills Interpretive Cent...
07/06/2016

Let's go fly a kite, up to the highest height!! Join us this Saturday, July 9 at 1 pm at Nankin Mills Interpretive Center to not only fly a kite, but make your own! A local kite club will be on hand to demonstrate some unusual kites as well! Program fee is $6 per child and $2 per adult. Please call the Park office to preregister at 734-261-1990.

Wayne County Park's Holliday Nature Preserve is home to over 20 fern species! Join us at Nankin Mills Interpretive Cente...
07/06/2016

Wayne County Park's Holliday Nature Preserve is home to over 20 fern species! Join us at Nankin Mills Interpretive Center Saturday, July 9 at 10 am to learn some secrets about how to recognize the different southern Michigan fern species. They are ancient and beautiful plants. Program fee is $3 per person. Please call the Park office at 734-261-1990 to preregister.

https://www.facebook.com/Crosswinds-Marsh-Wetland-Interpretive-Preserve-193757317393074/?fref=ts Check out Wayne County'...
06/24/2016
Crosswinds Marsh Wetland Interpretive Preserve

https://www.facebook.com/Crosswinds-Marsh-Wetland-Interpretive-Preserve-193757317393074/?fref=ts
Check out Wayne County's Crosswinds Marsh page. We will be joining our fellow naturalists at their event tomorrow, Nature Fest, from 1 - 4 pm. Come down and visit the beautiful Marsh and enjoy lots of family friendly events, including fishing!

Park Rules:
No fires or camping
No bikes/ATVs/watercraft
Dogs must be leashed
No alcohol
Fishing in designated areas
No collecting of plants & animals

Happy birthday to our famous Nankin pioneer, Marcus Swift! He was born June 23, 1793 in Palmyra, NY and was one of the f...
06/23/2016

Happy birthday to our famous Nankin pioneer, Marcus Swift! He was born June 23, 1793 in Palmyra, NY and was one of the first two settlers to bring their families on the Erie Canal and settle in Nankin township. His farm was in today's Garden City, near Merriman and Warren Roads. He was the first township supervisor and a circuit rider, preaching along a 125 mile route. He also built the first schools and was a preacher at the earliest churches in our area. He is best know for his "vociferous" opposition to slavery and life long fight to end what he called "the sum of all villainies". At the end of his life, in 1865, he was content to know that slavery was finally coming to an end. His life was a true inspiration!

Here are a couple of wildflowers that bloom in June in Holliday Nature Preserve for you to enjoy, Wild blue phlox and Mi...
06/22/2016

Here are a couple of wildflowers that bloom in June in Holliday Nature Preserve for you to enjoy, Wild blue phlox and Michigan lily!

When a caterpillar is done growing, they shed their skin for the last time and underneath is a chrysalis.  When they are...
06/22/2016

When a caterpillar is done growing, they shed their skin for the last time and underneath is a chrysalis. When they are finished forming into a butterfly and leave the chrysalis, it is called "eclosing". We have 4 species of butterflies ready to eclose at Nankin Mills: American lady, Monarch, Black swallowtail and Pipevine swallowtail. Stop by for a visit and maybe you will be lucky enough to see one of our butterflies eclose!! It should be this week sometime!

Henry Ford's Nankin Mills Village Industry plant employed highly skilled craftsmen for its stencil and engraving operati...
06/18/2016

Henry Ford's Nankin Mills Village Industry plant employed highly skilled craftsmen for its stencil and engraving operations from 1937 - 1947. They produced employee badges for Ford employees, including all badges for employees all over the world during World War II. Look at the detailed workmanship on this badge, donated by Lavern Kelley, a former Waterford VI employee. That's the Rouge Plant on it!

Do you enjoy aerial acrobatics and dogfights?  Eastern kingbirds will do both to defend their nesting territories. They ...
06/17/2016

Do you enjoy aerial acrobatics and dogfights? Eastern kingbirds will do both to defend their nesting territories. They return to the same nesting sites throughout their lives and like to nest near open water. We see them every year around the pond by our parking lot on Hines and the millrace south of our building. They are easy to recognize by the wide, white band at the tip of their tail, and they like to sit in small trees near water. Their Latin name, Tyrannus tyrannus, refers to their aggressive defense of nest areas, especially against hawks, crows and owls. These small flycatchers will fly up to 100 feet and dive at any larger birds flying over their "airspace". Then they descend in a glide and tumbling act which is a great air show! June is their nesting month, so keep your eye out for these entertaining Kingbird acrobatics if you are walking near our building along Hines Drive!

Here is Nankin Mills 100 years ago!  The two story back portion may have been an earlier Nankin gristmill.  Henry Ford r...
06/16/2016

Here is Nankin Mills 100 years ago! The two story back portion may have been an earlier Nankin gristmill. Henry Ford removed that section in 1918 when he bought the building. Nankin Mills has been a landmark on Ann Arbor Trail since the 1840s! It is the only original mill in the area from the 1800s still standing and with its miller's house still here! So much history in one building!

06/15/2016

This groundhog youngster is enjoying a snack in our flower garden by the building. We have seen this one and a sibling hanging out in the rock wall outside of our offices. Groundhogs are also known as "whistle pigs" because of the whistle sound they make as a warning call, but they are rodents, not pigs!

Find out what plants you can add to your landscaping to attract butterflies to your yard Wednesday evening, June 15 at 7...
06/14/2016

Find out what plants you can add to your landscaping to attract butterflies to your yard Wednesday evening, June 15 at 7 pm at Nankin Mills Interpretive Center. The Southeast Michigan Butterfly Assocation is hosting a program by Chad Hughson, owner of Hidden Savanna Nursery called "Landscaping for Natives: It's More than Just Pretty Flowers". He will also have a sale of native plants! It is important to choose the right plants for our native butterflies so they can lay their eggs on them! Program is open to the public, $3 for non-SEMBA members.

Bring the whole family and join us at Nankin Mills Interpretive Center tomorrow, Saturday, June11, at 1 pm to learn abou...
06/10/2016

Bring the whole family and join us at Nankin Mills Interpretive Center tomorrow, Saturday, June11, at 1 pm to learn about amazing insects!!

Nankin Mills has a fascinating history as a Gristmill dating back to its construction in the 1830s. Come join us this Sa...
06/09/2016

Nankin Mills has a fascinating history as a Gristmill dating back to its construction in the 1830s. Come join us this Saturday, June 11 at 10 am here at Nankin Mills Interpretive Center to hear more about the families who lived and worked here during the 1800s and how the Gristmill operated. The Miller's house on our property will also be part of the story. The program fee is $3 per person. Call the Park Office at 734-261-1990 to pre-register. Come enjoy your local history!

Address

33175 Ann Arbor Trail
Westland, MI
48185

Opening Hours

Monday 08:00 - 16:30
Tuesday 08:00 - 16:30
Wednesday 08:00 - 16:30
Thursday 08:00 - 16:30
Friday 08:00 - 16:30
Saturday 09:00 - 16:00

Telephone

(734) 261-1850

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