History of the Park

The Woodland Park and Nature Preserve was created with a purchase and gift from the Raymond Pontoni family. The creation involved the efforts and cooperation of the City and private citizens.

In the late 1990s, the City of Battle Creek acquired 126 acres south of Gethings Road from the Raymond Pontoni family through the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund Land Acquisition Project. In addition, the Pontoni family generously donated over 18 acres of pristine wooded terrain just west of Helmer Road to complete the 145 acre Park and Nature Preserve. The purpose of the land acquisition was for the preservation of wildlife viewing, wetland environmental education and habitat protection.

Volunteers from Battle Creek formed the Woodland Park and Nature Preserve Foundation Committee and have worked tirelessly with the City’s Park and Recreation Department to make this Park a reality.

On June 20, 2006, Resolution 200 – Revised, promoted by Joyce Garrett, President and Founder, representing the Woodland Park and Nature Preserve Foundation Committee and introduced by Commissioner Yankama, was passed by the City Commissioners. The Resolution states: …”approves the concepts set forth in the attached site master plan as presented for Woodland Park and Nature Preserve…”. “Further resolves that the Woodland Park and Nature Preserve, or any portion thereof, shall not be sold, leased or exchanged by the City…”

Woodland Park and Nature Preserve Foundation Committee

The Woodland Park and Nature Preserve Foundation Committee was created to oversee the development and improvement of Woodland Park and Nature Preserve. The Park Committee is very active in the continued improvement of the Park.

Woodland Park and Nature Preserve Foundation Committee Members are:

  • Joyce Garrett, President and Founder
  • Susan Scalabreno, Secretary
  • Deb Owens, Treasurer