Thurston Nature Center Drain Pipe Repair

  • August 25th Update

    Stormwater repair and initial restoration will be completed by the start of school. Ecological restoration of the nature center will occur in September/October 2021 in collaboration with the Thurston Nature Center Committee.

    August 11th Update

    Over the past week, our contractors have been busy completing repairs to the 18" storm sewer at Thurston Pond. Since our last update, the team has been able to:
    • Perform the complete pipe repair;
    • Backfill and prepare the site for restoration;
    • Install additional measures to support the inlet pipe at Thurston Pond;
    • Close the valve/slide gate to allow water levels to return to pre-construction levels as precipitation accumulates; and
    • Demobilize heavy equipment from the site. 
    The next steps include working on the initial site restoration in consultation with the TNCC and OHM Advisors and planning additional restoration activities for the Fall. There will be some additional limited sidewalk repair and turf restoration near the Renfrew ROW forthcoming once all construction efforts are complete. 

    August 4th Update

    The Thurston Nature Center stormwater repair project began Monday, August 2. As a follow up to the community information meeting and prior to work commencing, AAPS coordinated strategic plant relocation with assistance from dedicated TNCC volunteers and guidance from Wade Rose, OHM Advisors, on Friday, July 30.

    The repair crew has been busy this week clearing the site and beginning to stage materials. 

    Excavation and repair of the storm water pipe will commence on Thursday August 5, weather permitting, and is planned to be completed by the weekend.  Restoration will begin the following week. 

    Draining of the pond to maintenance levels will continue until excavation and underground repairs are completed. At the time of this update, AAPS anticipates that the project is on track and expected to be complete by August 27.

  • The Thurston Nature Center stormwater repair project will include:
    • Draining of the pond to a minimum level
    • Staging of material and equipment in the southern prairie
    • Excavating the area around the damaged pipe
    • Closing some trails during the repair work
    • Restoring the area with native plantings in partnership with the Thurston Nature Center Committee

    AAPS will hold an informational meeting via Zoom to share the plan and answer questions on Tuesday, July 27, 6:30 PM at

    Thanks to the Thurston Nature Center Committee for their continued stewardship of the TNC and for alerting AAPS of the need for this repair. 

    AAPS apologizes in advance for any inconvenience this necessary repair work may cause for the Thurston community and neighbors.

    Additional questions please email Emile Lauzzana, Executive Director Capital Projects at

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  • Thurston Pond aerial photo

    Frequently Asked Questions

    Why is the repair needed?

    Video inspection has shown that a 60 foot portion of the overflow pipe has collapsed and sunk two feet. There are concerns that without repairing the pipe a sinkhole could be formed in the Thurston Nature Center and the possibility of the Thurston Pond flooding neighboring properties.

    What will be the impact to the Thurston Nature Center during the repair?

    We will be staging materials and equipment in the southern prairie as we prepare to repair the damaged section of pipe. The work will require the removal of some trees and excavating a portion of the Thurston Woods. During the work we will close some of the trails in the Thurston Nature Center for the safety of visitors. Following the completion of the pipe repair the Ann Arbor Public Schools will work with the Thurston Nature Center Committee on restoring the area with native plantings.