Olson Park is a 54-acre parcel that is jointly owned by the City of Ann Arbor and the County Drain Commissioner. Located on the corner of DhuVarren Road and Pontiac Trail south of M-14, the site’s main feature is a pond that was constructed to manage storm water for the Northeast area. The former gravel pit also has plenty of topography, which now can be used as an advantage on the site for interesting design options.
Olson Park is in the fastest growing section of Ann Arbor. This park will be designed to accommodate the new population and serve as this area’s regional park. Designed to provide a balance of opportunities, the site will preserve existing natural features, including the wetlands and woods, the creek and pond, while providing active recreational facilities, including soccer fields and game courts. The park will also feature a paved loop as well as improvements to the existing network of mountain bicycle trails.
A significant feature of the site will be the restoration of native plant communities. Currently, the site is severely degraded due to past gravel mining operations. There are, despite the degraded conditions, some significant species of butterfly and bird whose habitat will be preserved as a part of the project. Improving the diversity of the plant materials will also improve the habitat for these species.
There are currently many mountain bike trails through the area, as well as a basketball court, paved trails, and an off-leash dog play area.