Special Park Projects

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​​​​​​​​​​​​Adopt-a-Park has partnered with many residents and park adopters to implement special park projects. These are resident driven projects that followed the proposal process outlined in the Special Park Project Guide​ (PDF 243KB). Most of these special park projects were required to submit a written proposal to seek city approval, in order to ensure that it aligned with park priorities, needs and city policies and ordinances established by the Parks Advisory Commission and our City Council. All work that is performed within Adopt-a-Park is guided by the needs and priorities established by the program and the Parks and Recreation Department, in conjunction with the policies and protocols in place for stewarding public park land.

Check out some of our past special park projects below and access their associated PDF links for more details. Email [email protected] or call 734.794.6445 with any questions about these projects. If you are interested in proposing an idea, visit the Proposing a Special Park Project​ page for more information.

​We sincerely appreciate the residents of Ann Arbor and our surrounding communities who provide creative ideas, dedicate their time and take an active interest in proposing and implementing the changes that they want to see in their city parks!

Arbor Oaks Park Fruit Tree Planting 2021-2022​

In 2021, a community group from the city's Office of Sustainability and Innovation's A2Zero ​Ambassador​ program proposed planting seven fruit trees in Arbor Oaks Park. The proposal included two peach, three pear and two paw paws (paw paws are a native North American tree and their fruits have a unique, tropical flavor). View the project proposal prepared by the A2Zero Ambassador group to learn more. A public survey was conducted in November 2021 to provide an opportunity for residents to give feedback. View the survey results with identifiable information redacted. After receiving positive support via the survey, the project was approved. The trees were planted on June 4, 2022 by the A2Zero Ambassador group and other volunteers. View the project summary​ to learn more.

Goats at Burr Oak Park 2021

In 2021, residents expressed concern with the abundance of nonnative invasive honeysuckle and buckthorn, along with poison ivy, in Burr Oak Park's wooded area. After neighborhood support was gau​ged via an online survey (view the survey ​results (PDF 78KB) with identifiable information redacted), the city hired a herd of goats from Twin Willow Ranch to eat and push back some of this overgrowth. The goats visited for three weeks in August and a Goat Open House event was hosted for residents to learn more about the project and interact with the goats. We expect this project to be on-going and require multiple years of attention. Visit the 2021 recap​ (PDF 650KB) to learn more about this project. Visit the Goats at Gallup​ page to learn about other park projects that the goats have helped with and to find out where they might be next!


Wurster Park Kiosk 2021

During summer of 2020, Wurster Park adopters expressed their wish to have a kiosk in the park to post educational materials and information about volunteer workdays. In winter of 2021, a park neighbor and volunteer submitted a project proposal and design to build a wooden kiosk. The project was approved by Adopt-a-Park and the neighbor sourced building materials and began construction. Funding was partially provided by the city and partially as a donation from a park neighbor and volunteer. Park operations installed the kiosk in July 2021. Visit the park to check out the wonderful kiosk and the interesting information being posted in it!

Native Area at Buhr Park 2021

​In 2021, neighbors of Buhr​ Park​ and members of the Children's Wet Meadow Project​ proposed saving several hickory tree seedlings that had sprouted in the park's lawn. The seedlings grew from the ​nuts of a very large and beautiful hickory tree​​. The resident group proposed transplanting the hickory seedlings and creating a non-mowed, native garden area around them and several existing spruce trees. The project was approved and around 20 hickory seedlings were transplanted from the lawn to a new native area. The garden will be planted with native seeds and nonnative invasive plants will be removed over time. The implementation and maintenance will be performed by the resident group, with support from Adopt-a-Park.​


Winewood Thaler Park Path 2021

A park neighbor reached out in fall 2021 with interest in expanding the footpath through Winewood Thaler Park​'s small wooded area, see map​. After significant concerns were not raised internally, a public survey was hosted for two weeks in November to gauge neighborhood support. After reviewing the survey results, there is not sufficient support for the path additions. Therefore at this time Adopt-a-Park will not move forward with this project. View the survey results (PDF 94KB) with identifiable information redacted.

Girl Scout Birdhouses at Cranbrook Park 2018

A local girl scout troop reached out with some project ideas for Cranbrook Park. The troop submitted a proposal to repaint and stencil park benches, along with a design to construct five house wren birdhouses. The project was approved and the troop partnered with Adopt-a-Park to implement the project. Three volunteer workdays were held to paint the benches and install the bird houses. After implementation, the scouts worked with the orni​thologist at Natural Area Preservation​ to monitor and clean out the birdhouses each year.