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Students enjoy some free time in front of the Manor House.

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Sanctuary and Classroom: The Kellogg Biological Station

In 1927, W. K. Kellogg of Battle Creek, Michigan, purchased a tract of 125 acres just east of Gull Lake near Augusta, Michigan. After equipping the property with the necessary buildings and stocking it with a large variety of birds, he presented it in 1928 to Michigan State College, along with an endowment. Part of the purpose of the college's acceptance of the Kellogg Bird Sanctuary was to provide field education in the biological sciences to both the public, and, with directed research opportunities, to graduate students of the college.

At about the same time, additional acreage was provided by the Kellogg Foundation (established in 1930) for the Kellogg Demonstration Farm. The farm was to be run by the Michigan Agriculture Experiment Station as part of its mission to conduct research into farm practices and to disseminate the information in both scientific journals and practical bulletins. At about the same time, additional acreage designated for land reclamation and reforestation was established as the Kellogg Reforestation Tract. The experimental and demonstration activity was conducted by the college's forestry department.

The three projects were administered separately until 1948, when the Kellogg properties were collectively called the W. K. Kellogg Station of the Michigan State College and placed under the supervision of one superintendent. By then they had come to include the Demonstration Farm, a Research Farm, a Nutrition Farm (these two were later called "Feed Research"), the Bird Sanctuary, and the Forest.

Planning began in 1952 for a modern biological station, uniting the previous facilities and embellishing the complex with the addition of the Kellogg summer estate. The summer estate consisted of the Manor House, a carriage house, a greenhouse, a caretaker's cottage, a boathouse, an authentic Dutch windmill, and a lakeside pagoda. The Manor House, a Tudor-style mansion, was converted into a conference center.

Regular summer session courses, which had begun in 1929 and were suspended during World War II, were reinstated in 1954. Classes at the station provided students with hands-on field experience. Students could take courses in the following areas: bacteriology and public health; botany and plant pathology; education; entomology; fisheries and wildlife; geography; parasitology; and zoology.

In 1962, the station was administratively reorganized under the College of Natural Science, and in 1969 the Kellogg Biological Station acquired separate status in which the complex, consisting of an extension office, laboratories, conference center, farm, and bird sanctuary, formed a unit allied with the College of Natural Science. The forest remains closely affiliated with the station. Today the biological station is administered jointly by the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources and the College of Natural Science.

Finding aid to the Kellogg Biological Station Records (UA 16.68)


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