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E-M:/ Washtenaw County Land Acquisition

Enviro-Mich message from Smileysmlc@aol.com

I am delighted to announce that the Washtenaw County Natural Areas 
Preservation Program has purchased 160-acres at the corner of Ford and Prospect Roads in 
Superior Township!  The Ann Arbor News recently ran an article announcing 
this $3.1 million acquisition; however, that article actually came out before the 
closing.  The purchase is now a done deal and the land is officially 

The Southeast Michigan Land Conservancy (SMLC) is pleased to have played a 
key role in having the County acquire this wonderful property.  The Conservancy 
worked with the landowner to apply to the County program, and SMLC was also 
instrumental in generating public support.  The Southeast Michigan Land 
Conservancy also pledged to maintain nature trails and oversee habitat restoration 
efforts for the County for a minimum of 10 years.  The Conservancy hopes to raise 
funds sufficient to endow our ability to perpetually maintain the property 
for the County.  

The land is a mix of wetlands, forest and open farm land and it adjoins the 
Conservancy's 30-acre Springhill Nature Preserve.  It is also in close 
proximity to 584-acres which were previously acquired (through 8 purchases) and 
protected by the Conservancy.  SMLC has also secured another 375-acres in the area 
through conservation easements, comprising the start of a significant greenbelt 
between Detroit and Ann Arbor.  A total of 1,389 acres are now permanently 
protected in this corridor through the collaborative efforts of Washtenaw 
County, Superior Township, and the Southeast Michigan Land Conservancy.

Special thanks are due to the following groups for supporting this 
acquisition:  Detroit Audubon Society, Washtenaw Audubon Society, Michigan Botanical 
Club, Sierra Club - Huron Valley Group, Washtenaw Land Trust, and Friends of the 
Rouge.  We hope that this partnership will grow so that this Detroit/Ann Arbor 
Greenbelt will rise to national prominence.

The County intends to continue farming much of the land this year, so it will 
generally not be open to the public at this time.  Our intent is to develop a 
habitat restoration plan which we can begin to implement next year.  

A public cleanup of the property has been scheduled for Saturday, June 3, at 
10 a.m.  Since the property is in the westernmost headwaters of the Rouge 
River watershed, the cleanup will be held as part of the Rouge Rescue activities, 
sponsored by Friends of the Rouge, which are happening that day throughout the 
watershed.  Please plan to join us if you are available.  (Please RSVP to 
reserve a free T-shirt.)  We will be meeting at the driveway on the east side of 
Prospect Road, just south of Ford Road.

We salute the Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation Commission, and the 
Natural Areas Technical Advisory Committee, for protecting this important property. 
 It is always a pleasure to work with them and with the dedicated Parks 
Commission staff--especially Bob Tetens, Director, and Tom Freeman, Superintendent 
of Park Planning.  This is a tremendous acquisition which will be cherished by 
generations to come!

Jack Smiley
Executive Director
Southeast Michigan Land Conservancy
8383 Vreeland Road
Superior Township, MI  48198
(734) 484-6565

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