Emma Genevieve Gillette Photo

Emma Genevieve Gillette

Born: May 19, 1898

Death: Jan 1, 1986

Nationality: United States

Emma Genevieve Gillette

Date of Birth : May 19, 1898
Date of Death : Jan 1, 1986

Genevieve Gillette was an early conservationist in Michigan. She was born in Lansing on May 19, 1898 and attended Michigan Agricultural College, Michigan State University. She was the only woman to graduate in the college’s first landscape architecture class in 1920. Gillette moved to Chicago where she worked in the office of noted garden designer, Jens Jensen. During the early 1920s, she developed a close friendship with P. J. Hoffmaster, Superintendent of State Parks and later Director of the Department of Conservation. Hoffmaster enlisted the aid of Gillette to scout the state for areas of land having state park potential, an assignment which she made her life’s work. Beginning in 1924, she helped locate and raise public support and funding for parks at Ludington, Hartwick Pines, Wilderness, and Porcupine Mountains. Other parks included Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, the Huron-Clinton Metroparks system, and what was to become the P. J. Hoffmaster State Park in the sand dunes area of Lake Michigan between Grand Haven and Muskegon.

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