Nara Family Maple Center to open in Lake Linden | News, Sports, Jobs


MTU Events – Michigan Technological University Michigan Tech will dedicate the new Nara Family Maple Center, located in the Nara Family Forest in Bootjack, with a ribbon cutting at 10 a.m. Thursday. (photo Houghton Daily Mining Gazette)

By Graham Jaehnig

personal editor,

Houghton Daily Mining Gazette

HOUGHTON — Leaders of Michigan Technological University and the Nara Family will hold a ribbon-cutting ceremony for the new Nara Family Maple Center Thursday at 10 a.m. at the Nara Family Forest in Torch Lake Township, Michigan Tech announced in a statement.

In a signing ceremony on June 28, 2018, at the Nara Nature Trail, Ruth Nara of Houghton and Bootjack donated the 640-acre woodlot to Michigan Tech. The 640 acres of land and the timber on it are valued at over $2 million. The property also contained a sugar shack, where harvested maple sap is boiled to produce syrup.

The Nara Family Maple Center will be used for K-12 outreach and for technology students to teach the history and heritage of sugar maples, and “all the wonderful things the forest can produce,” according to William Roberts, Tech’s vice president for alumni advancement and engagement, who mentioned this in his report to Tech’s board.

Participants will hear from university leaders, faculty members from the College of Forest Resources and Environmental Sciences, and the Nara family.

Taylor Tankersley of Michigan Tech’s office of advancement said a newly constructed sugar shack houses the evaporator that was used in syrup production at the university’s Ford Forestry Center in Alberta, where the Michigan Tech’s school of forestry offered a comprehensive non-traditional course covering syrup cultivation. and business practices as well as taps and boils.

“There is also a suburban area,

The Nara Family Forest, consisting largely of mixed hardwoods, forested wetlands and lowland conifers, was donated to the university in June 2018.

Robert Nara, late husband of Ruth, was born on October 10, 1935 in Detroit, the son of William O. and May (Monk) Nara. He graduated in 1953 from Lake Linden-Hubbell High School. He attended Michigan State and graduated from the University of Michigan dental school in 1959.

He operated a dental practice in Houghton for several decades and was the founder of Oramedics International, an organization promoting preventive dentistry.

A generous donor to copper country, one of the most famous is Nara Nature Park in Houghton, where visitors enjoy walks around the Pilgrim River, trails through the woods and bridges over streams. They also created and funded the Nara Animal Shelter.

Robert has served on numerous boards in the community. He was very generous and really wanted to make the world a better place.

As a passionate forester. Nara enjoyed her family maple forest in Bootjack and improved the health of the trees there. Robert was the third generation of Nara to own the property, which had a rich history when it came into his possession.

His grandfather, James W. Nara, John W. Nara immigrated from Finland in the 1890s and became one of the copper country’s first commercial photographers. According to the Michigan Tech Archives, where Nara’s photography collection is located, his success as a photographer has allowed him to invest forest land in the area, including the Bootjack area. He became an early advocate of selective logging practices. In addition to selective harvesting and woodworking, Nara leased logged land to Finnish immigrants for small farms and is the subject of many of his photographs.

The dedication ceremony for the Nara Family Maple Center will begin at 10 a.m. and the public is invited to attend and meet Michigan Tech leaders. The new Maple Center is located at 45016 N. Jacobsville Road in Lake Linden.

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