Thursday, August 22, 2013

Kettunen Center 3rd Annual 5K Trail Run a huge success!

Finisher receiving medal at the Kettunen Center 5K Trail Run/Walk.
The 3rd Annual 5K Trail Run at Kettunen Center, held Saturday, Aug. 10 had great participation and competition with over 50 registrants.

The overall winner was Zack Workman from Mesick with a time of 20:11. The women’s winner was Nicole Edstrom of LeRoy with a time of 25:17. Click here for the complete results.

The 5K Trail Run/Walk course is not your typical 5K and started with a short spurt on asphalt, which quickly led to Kettunen Center’s extensive trail system. Runners managed hills, woods, and the lakeshore.

Proceeds from the Kettunen Center 5K Trail Run/Walk will be used to support youth and family programs at Kettunen Center, making it more affordable for schools, camps and other youth organizations to attend.

Kettunen Center's Christmas Trees and Gardens

Kettunen Center’s Christmas Tree Arboretum provides us with the opportunity to display the wide range of tree species grown commercially in Michigan. Our state is one of the largest producers of Christmas Trees in the country.

This year the arboretum has undergone a major change. After shipping Detroit their holiday tree a couple of years ago, removal of some other large trees for Kettunen Center’s holiday celebration, and extensive deer and winter damage it was necessary to remove all remaining trees this past spring.  Fortunately, we have access to able, qualified, and creative folks that have reshaped the arboretum to make it better than ever.

Steve Neuman, Kettunen Center’s Maintenance Director, was able to sculpt the landscape and provide an aesthetically pleasing presentation and planting area. We then consulted with Jill O’Donnell, MSUE Christmas Tree Educator, to devise a planting plan for the area that exhibits ten different varieties of trees.  Jill then secured donations from Dutchman Tree Farm, Northern Pines Nursery, and Needlefast Nursery. She delivered these to Kettunen Center and along with her office mate, Erin Lizotte – MSUE Educator, properly planted and mapped the new plants. Going forward, we are thankful to have Jill’s oversight and help as the trees grow.

With everyone pulling together the Christmas Tree Arboretum will develop into a top notch demonstration-garden, highlighting one of Michigan Agriculture’s largest businesses. Many thanks to everyone that has helped improve this area at Kettunen Center!

Another thank you goes to Pat Morse and Maggie Swirdu, our master gardeners who have been working hard all summer to maintain the gardens at Kettunen Center. They have worked weekly to tend and weed our various gardens. Both Pat and Maggie are certified Master Gardeners through MSUE’s Master Gardener program. Pat is on staff and has put both volunteer and paid hours in tending these areas. Maggie is volunteering 4 to 8 hours a week. We are fortunate to have them bring their passion to Kettunen!

Kettunen Center is great for retreats!

The Kettunen Center is the ideal location to host retreats of all kinds: boards, youth, church, women’s and more! It's exciting to have a wide variety of retreats take place at the Kettunen Center. We help groups plan and execute their event, so there is little stress involved for our meeting planners.
The Kettunen Center offers a beautiful, relaxing location for your group. We have lodging accommodations ranging from hotel style to dorms that are perfect for all groups and any budget. There is a wide variety of meeting spaces available for your group. Recreation surrounds you when you stay at the Kettunen Center; you may decide to relax by the fire in the main lodge or hike one of our trails, the choice is yours.

Save the Date!

Breakfast with Santa is Saturday, December 14.

Ho, Ho, Ho! Breakfast with Santa is Kettunen Center’s largest community event. It is our opportunity to give back.  We provide a wonderful breakfast, a visit with Santa, arts, crafts and more.  More information will be available in upcoming Kett Monthly editions and the Kettunen Center’s website,

Monday, July 29, 2013

Join the Kettunen Center for the 5K Trail Run/Walk - a Family-Friendly Event!

Kettunen Center 5K Trail Run/Walk
Saturday, August 10, 2013
Start time:  9 am
Registration begins at 8 am
at Kettunen Center
Tustin, MI

$15 registration fee before August 8, 2013
$20 day of the race

Proceeds benefit over 2,000 area children with experience in team building, outdoor fun, and environmental learning. Learn more at or download the entry form.

Finisher receiving medal at the Kettunen Center 5K Trail Run/Walk.

Monday, January 21, 2013

No More Cabin Fever! Winter Fitness Family Fun Day

February 16, 2013

Beat the winter blahs and enjoy a day of winter activities in the mitten state! A mix of fun indoor and outdoor activities includes making survival shelters, fire building, snowshoe racing, team-building challenges, Zumba and yoga. Top off your fitness experience as you enjoy making and tasting nutritious snacks.

The Feb. 16 event begins at 10 a.m. and ends at 3 p.m. Pre-registration and payment is required. Call 231-829-3421 or email to sign up. $7/person includes all materials and lunch.

Andrea Grix Says Goodbye After 24 Years

Andrea Grix

After twenty-four years of service to Kettunen Center, Andrea Grix said goodbye. She has relocated to Beulah with her husband and former Kettunen Center director, John Grix. Andrea served as Kettunen Center’s Educational Program Manager since 1988.

During her tenure Andrea initiated, developed, and grown a vast array of educational program offerings that have impacted many youth and families over the years. She started the 4-H Trackers outdoor environmental education program that has provided area schools with meaningful opportunity to bring science to life at Kett. The TREE program has fostered group work and team-building for young and old throughout the year. Andrea initiated a number of Road Scholar programs at the center that have benefited visitors from all over the country.

Many community programs were developed through Andrea’s efforts. The Family Day Programs hosted at Kettunen Center throughout the year give local families a chance to be together and enjoy the outdoor environment Kettunen offers. While Andrea did not start it, she developed the center’s annual Breakfast with Santa event to serve nearly 1000 people each year. The summer’s Art Camp has provided a unique week of camp to youth from all over the region.

Andrea’s service has not been limited to Kettunen Center. Her statewide activities have included coordinating MSU Extension’s Michigan 4-H Youth Conservation Council; participating in the 4-H Great Lakes and Natural Resources Camp each summer; serving with the Michigan Alliance for Environmental and Outdoor Education (MAEOE); leading local 4-H clubs; and many other endeavors.

The Kettunen Center facility has also benefited from Andrea’s dedication. She coordinated re-development of the arboretum, the various gardens, the trail system, and waterfront. It’s been a common sight to see Andrea working with volunteers in the gardens, lifeguarding at the beach, or guiding folks along the trails. She’s been a leader, facilitator, and worker in enhancing the beauty and enjoyment of Kettunen Center.

Kettunen Center has become a better place because of Andrea’s passion, dedication, hard work and leadership. She’ll be very much missed but her touch and work will always be present for future visitors and program participants.

Thank you, Andrea!