Bob Grese – Honorary National Director

Bob Grese
Wild Ones Honorary Director
Education and Research
Ann Arbor, Michigan

Bob GreseBob Grese serves as Director of the Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum. My teaching and research involve ecologically-based landscape design and management that respects the cultural and natural history of a region. I am particularly interested in the restoration and on-going management of urban wilds and the role such lands can play in re-connecting children and families with nature. I have long been fascinated by the work of early designers such as Jens Jensen and Ossian Cole Simonds who borrowed from the native landscape in their work. There is much to be learned about their designs and their fate over time. I have a growing interest in green roofs and other low impact design strategies.

Educational Background: 
M.S.L.A. Landscape Architecture, 1984, University of Wisconsin
B.L.A. Landscape Architecture, 1978, University of Georgia

Awards and Grants:

Honorary Director, Wild Ones (National); Advisor of the Year Award, Michigan Leadership Awards, University of Michigan, April 2006; “Bob Grese Deep Roots Award,” 2002 by the Ann Arbor Chapter of the Wild Ones

Research Interests: 

My research interests have included:

  • Restoration of urban wilds, especially prairie and oak savanna ecosystems at Nichols Arboretum, Ann Arbor, MI
  • Social aspects of ecological restoration and volunteer stewardship programs and networks
  • Documenting the work of early designers such as Jens Jensen and O. C. Simonds who advocated for native vegetation and developed a strong regional emphasis in their work

Current/Recent Research:

  • Cultural and natural history of Nichols Arboretum
  • History of ecologically-based design
  • Prairie/oak savanna restoration, Nichols Arboretum, Ann Arbor, MI
  • Cultural Landscape Report, Cranbrook Educational Community, Bloomfield Hills, MI 2003-2004. Cranbrook Educational Community/The Getty Foundation.
  • National Landmark Nomination for Fair Lane, the Henry Ford Estate, Dearborn, MI 2000-2004, Midwest Region, National Park Service, Omaha, NE.

Teaching Interests:
My teaching emphasizes ecologically-based landscape design, ecological restoration, and community involvement.

Current/Recent Teaching:
Ecological Restoration; Landscape Ecology Design Studio