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Grand Rapids Underworld with Dr. Mary Jane Dockeray

“It is hoped that an awareness and enthusiasm for nature will further stimulate concern for the total environment and will be an asset for the world and its future.” — Dr. Mary Jane Dockeray

In 1949, Mary Jane began working for the Grand Rapids Public Museum as a nature lecturer. Eventually, Mary Jane convinced the Blandford family to donate 17 acres to the museum for the development of a nature center, and she became the curator. In the summer of 1965, the Museum Association agreed to help seek the funds necessary for building a visitor center, which opened in 1968. Over time, Mary Jane found state dollars to purchase more land, bringing the Grand Rapids city-owned land to 143 acres.

Grand Rapids Underworld with Dr. Mary Jane Dockeray