MNA purchased this 55-acre parcel from Marcello, Nancy, Silvio and Georgia Scappaticci in 1997. The land was later split into five smaller parcels, one of which was retained by MNA. The sanctuary was initially called Save-It-Creek Nature Sanctuary, referring to the creek running through the property, but was renamed in 2012 after long-time volunteer and MNA member, Sharon Zahrfeld. The sanctuary is located in Linden near the Zahrfeld home.
Sharon's husband, Ted Zahrfeld, described her life as a covenant of service to family, church, community, and nature. Her professions included: youth minister, engaged couples counselor, liturgical environmental artist, office manager, art gallery owner, and MNA and library volunteer.
Sharon Zahrfeld Memorial Nature Sanctuary is made up of gently rolling hills, with the higher forested area about 30 feet above the creek bed. The lower areas of the sanctuary are seasonally wet and include ephemeral ponds and Save It Creek. The sanctuary is in the Shiawassee River watershed, with the creek eventually joining the Shiawassee River and then the Saginaw River. The southern half of the Shiawassee River basin, where the sanctuary is located, consists of alternating east-west fine or medium-textured ground moraines, till plains and outwash plains.
The seasonal variation of the creek's water level plays a vital role in this southern floodplain forest community, which is one of Michigan’s most endangered habitats. The sanctuary's several wetlands make it an attractive spot for songbirds and other wildlife.
Skunk cabbage, scarlet oak and the Michigan lily are a few of the species that call Sharon Zahrfeld Memorial Nature Sanctuary home. Spring visitors are greeted with a diverse wildflower display, including beautiful marsh marigolds.
Planning Your Visit:
This sanctuary is class "A," so it is open to the public during daylight hours. There is a nature trail that runs through the sanctuary, giving visitors spectacular views of the forest and creek. In the spring, visitors can see beautiful, various wildflower displays in the sanctuary.
Visitors can park in the gravel loop at the trailhead.
How to Get There:
The sanctuary is located in Genesee County near Linden on Rolston Road, just east of Seymour Road.
For additional information, contact the MNA office at (866) 223-2231.
View the Sanctuary Fact Sheet
Zahrfeld Memorial Nature Sanctuary Fact Sheet.pdf