Mud Lake

Mud Lake cover
Sam Lovall
Release Date

Mud Lake is a collection of short adventure stories about children living in Haslett, Michigan, during the 1960s and 70s, when kids were allowed to freely explore the natural world without adult instruction or supervision. These stories establish the importance of natural areas as places for young people to experience mental and physical challenges in an authentic place with real plants, wildlife, and people. As the book transitions into the topic of “circular energy,” the kid’s adventures are woven into more technical narrations about the cyclical movement of carbon and glaciers along with the science of wetlands, confirming that our current climate change is caused by people. The book concludes by outlining multiple strategies to mitigate and adapt to climate change while providing an entertaining read for a variety of ages.

About the Author

Sam Lovall (lead author and illustrator) has over 35 years of professional landscape architectural experience in design, construction, and grant writing for park, riverfront, trail, urban, and environmental planning projects, in addition to teaching Landscape Architecture classes at Michigan State University. He served as Project Manager for numerous riparian planning projects in southeast Michigan, including the development of master plans for the Rouge River Gateway, the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge Gateway Site, and multiple habitat restoration projects in the Lower Detroit River. In 2020, Sam received the Environmental Law Institute’s National Wetlands Award for Local Stewardship. Sam has always found Mud Lake to be a special place for enjoyment with family, close friends, or alone. Every visit was unique based on seasonal changes and slowly evolving environmental conditions. This interest in the natural world is what lured him into the study of landscape architecture.

Book Reviews

“Through engaging storytelling, Sam Lovall has used a small shallow lake in central lower Michigan called Mud Lake and its surrounding natural area as microcosms for identifying circular patterns in personal lives and ecosystems. He weaves vignettes into a compelling narrative for an awakening to the truth about climate change and how we must address this greatest environmental challenge of our time.”

—John H. Hartig, Visiting Scholar, Great Lakes Institute for Environmental Research, University of Windsor

“I fell right into Mud Lake, which sparked fond memories of my own outdoor adventures. Beyond the stories of how young people are attracted to natural landscapes, the book evokes a universal appreciation for a healthy planet, weaving together our shared history and timely environmental themes in each chapter.”

—LeRoy Harvey, Environmental Programs Coordinator, Meridian Township