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From Jackson Field To Potter Park Zoo, Lansing Resident Recreates City In Animal Crossing

Kaleigh Klosowski and Sophia Saliby's Animal Crossing character stand in front of her recreation of the State Capitol in the game. Sophia is clapping and Kaleigh is waving a flag.
Sophia Saliby
Klosowski has spent more than 1,000 hours playing Animal Crossing since the game came out last year.

Kaleigh Klosowski says the project was a way for her to experience the city during the pandemic.

For many, the Nintendo Switch video game "Animal Crossing: New Horizons" came at just the right time. The game was released just days after the onset of the coronavirus pandemic in the U.S. on March 20, 2020.

Klosowski's Animal Crossing character, a woman with shot brown hair wearing a Lansing Lugnuts baseball cap, waves up at the shadow of a plane crossing over her island.
Sophia Saliby
Klosowski has been finishing up her island, so she can invite Michiganders and Lanstronauts to visit.

When you start the game, you arrive on a deserted island and are tasked with making the town there more hospitable to a whole host of animal villagers.

The games offers players tons of customization options to decorate their island.

Lansing resident Kaleigh Klosowski has put more than 1,000 hours into the game but recently decided to build her island as a tribute to the town she lives in.

Over the past year and half, she has connected with other players across the globe through an Instagram account she runs.

"I'm always talking about Michigan on my page, and I'm, like, well, seems like the best thing to do to have people come visit me is to make my city. So, I figured I would make Lansing basically, so people could come tour it."

Kaleigh Klosowski's Animal Crossing character standing behind a register at her recreation of Quality Dairy.
Kayleigh Klosowski
Klosowski's recreation of Quality Dairy even includes their famous Chip Dip.

Klosowski has spent a lot of time taking iconic Lansing landmarks like the Frandor Shopping Center and the state Capitol building and using creative ways to put them in the game.

"I customized the outside of my house so that it was white. And then to make it look, I guess, tiered and look a little bit more like three-dimensional, I have the backside of some wedding pipe organs that are kind of stacked a little bit this way," she said.

"And then on top, I have like a wedding [or] like nuptial bell-type thing that sits on top, so it's like the dome of the Capitol Building."

She said the pandemic has been a big reason for this project, especially since she wasn't enjoying things last year she typically would in the city like Lugnuts games at Jackson Field.

Kaleigh Klosowski and Sophia Saliby's Animal Crossing characters stand on the airport dock for the island. A seaplane in the right as well as a flagpole flying a flag with the city Lansing's seal.
Sophia Saliby
Klosowski made her island flag look like the city of Lansing's official seal.

"As soon as we couldn't go, I'm like, 'How am I going to not go and get my Oreo churro and hang out and watch the game?' Like, I need something to scratch that itch a little bit. So, that's why I'm like, I need to start making some of these things, [and] I need to be able to experience them again.

She still has work to do to finish her vision for the island including building Michigan State University's campus and making the inside of Horrocks Farm Market look just like its real-life counterpart.

Animal Crossing players can use her dream code, DA-1447-7412-6244 to visit.

And for those who don't have the game, WKAR's Sophia Saliby took a tour of Klosowski's island to see all the sights.

The State Capitol Building

REO Town

Old Town

Jackson Field

Potter Park Zoo



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Sophia Saliby is the local producer and host of All Things Considered, airing 4pm-7pm weekdays on 90.5 FM WKAR.
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