Nature Society

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Tenhave Woods in Late October

WHO ARE WE: The Royal Oak Nature Society is a volunteer group working with the City of Royal Oak to protect, maintain and promote the usage of Royal Oak's two nature preserves, Cummingston Park and Tenhave Woods.  We are also in the process of developing an arboretum and wildflower garden (Royal Oak Arboretum) behind the Royal Oak Senior Center (3500 Marais).  Go to the Nature Society page to learn more about us. 

ABOUT OUR PARKS: Both Cummingston Park and Tenhave Woods are nature preserves that are over 20 acres in size and are heavily wooded with lined trails.  They are designated by the city of Royal Oak as conservancy parks where the protection and management of the animal and plant/tree life in the parks is the primary concern.  They are open daily to the public from dawn to dusk.  Click here to find out why dogs are not allowed inside either nature preserve.  Go to Nature Preserves page to learn more about Cummingston Park and Tenhave Woods. 

The Royal Oak Arboretum is a park located behind the Senior Center.  It has been under development since 2007.  The long range plan for our arboretum is to create a collection of native trees/plants that are not found in Tenhave Woods.  Link on to Royal Oak Arboretum to learn about its history and progress. 

ADDITIONAL INFORMATION:  To find out where these parks are located on a map and a map of their trail systems, click here.  Wearing boots while in the parks is recommended during the winter and spring months. Using insect repellent and dressing appropriately is advised from late spring through the end of summer.  To learn more about these parks firsthand, check out our Naturalist Led Nature Walks schedule.


FUTURE OF OUR NATURE SOCIETY

At our 2018 fundraiser, Don Drife, the Nature Society’s president, was asked if the Royal Oak Nature Society had a five-year plan.  While the Society has a master plan with long term goals posted on our website, he wonders if the Nature Society will even exist in five-years.  Don is around 60 years old, but all of the other members are in their 70s or 80s.  We are slowing down and need assistance.  No one is coming up through the ranks to replace us.  Our Nature Society is a fragile group. If we lost a single member of our tiny core group our program would drastically change.  If you want to learn more about what is needed to keep this organization healthy, please read the complete text of the fall 2018 President’s report entitled “The Future of our Nature Society.

Please click here for November's programs

Please click here for December's programs

Volunteer Opportunities

The Nature Society is always looking for volunteers to help us in many different ways. Please click here to check out volunteer opportunities that are available and that you might be interested in getting involved with.    

Get Involved

General Membership (No Cost)

If you would like to be on the Nature Society’s e-mail blast list, please sign up to be a General Member.  It is free!  Just send us an e-mail stating that you would like to be a General Member along with your name, complete street address including zip code and e-mail address.  Our e-mail blast includes program/walk schedules and other current information.  Click here for more information about our associate, supporting & patron memberships.

Friends of Fungi Mycology Club

This group promotes the understanding of, and an appreciation for, fungi in general and those fungi found in Tenhave Woods, Cummingston Park, and other local urban woods. The group is open to anyone who wants to learn more about fungi which includes mushrooms. Check out this link for more information including program schedule.

Fungi Sept 2017

Arboretum Wildflower Guide Book is now Available

A Guide to the Wildflowers of the Royal Oak Arboretum is now available. This forty page print-on-demand book features over one hundred of the most conspicuous plant species found in the "arb." They are illustrated with more than three hundred color photographs. The book costs $40 and will be available at our speaker programs. Click here to preview one of the guide pages.  E-mail Don Drife for more information on ordering this book.

Arb Book Cover

Nature Society Master Plan 

Click here to check out Version 5 (May 2017) of our Nature Society Master Plan for Cummingston Park, Tenhave Woods and the Royal Oak Arboretum

Problems in the Parks



 If you are near Tenhave Woods, Cummingston Park or the Royal Oak Arboretum and see or hear suspicious or unlawful behavior, please help by calling the Royal Oak Police Department’s non-emergency number, 248-246-3500 and inform them of the problem.  We would also appreciate it if you could also let us know about the problem by contacting us at 248-246-3380 & leave a message or by e-mail.

Land History


Behind the natural beauty of Tenhave Woods and Cummingston Park, there is a land history to explore. Please check out these links to Tenhave Woods (PDF) and Cummingston Park (PDF) to learn about the people who once lived on these lands.

The Goodwin family was the first owner of the land that now includes Tenhave Woods and Royal Oak High School. The below photo is of Samuel Volney Goodwin's family and farmhouse during the middle 1880s. Samuel was the third generation of Goodwins to own this piece of land.  The house was located just south of Normandy Rd. & just east of Crooks.
Goodwin Farm House March 2018

Special Thanks



We'd like to offer a special thanks to the ROAK Brewing Company for their very Generous Donation (PDF).

The Nature Society would also like to thank Brendan Nolan’s “Plants for Ecology” for donating
several Black Willows, a Tamarack and an Elderberry tree.  If you are looking for native plants, you might want to check him out at Royal Oak’s Farmer Market sometime.  More information can be found at his “Plants for Ecology” website.

ROOTS Foundation

The Nature Society is a member of the Royal Oak Opportunity To Serve (ROOTS) Foundation, established by the city to accept donations and endowments for the improvement of civic institutions. Donations and bequests may be designated for specific Nature Society projects. For more information, visit the ROOTS Foundation Page.