Ann Arbor's city parks sit on the ancestral and traditional homelands of several indigenous Native peoples. Read a
land acknowledgement from the city and learn more about the early history of the land
The two separate sections of Scarlett Mitchell Nature Area were two separate acquisitions of land, decades apart. The first was the eastern portion, 25 acres in size, acquired by the city to use as parkland in 1975. The land was bought from Laser Systems Corporation. This land was adjacent to the extant Mitchell Scarlett Woods (then known as Scarlett Mitchell Woods). In the late 1960s and early 1970s the school district had planned to use the Mitchell Scarlett Woods area for a high school, but that plan was dropped after the community rallied to preserve the natural area.
The western portion of the park adjacent to Platt Road and I-94, also 25 acres, was acquired by the city in 2001. This parcel was previously known as the "Finkel Property." A Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund grant helped make this land acquisition possible. Nearby residents, neighbors, and members of the schools wrote to the city to voice their support for this acquisition for the purpose of keeping it a natural area.
Judith and Manfred Schmidt have spent decades advocating for the preservation of the Scarlett Mitchell area's green spaces. See a video featuring them and their story
Read an article from the NAP Newsletter in 2003 detailing the variety of species found within the natural area and restoration efforts:
2003 Park Focus: Scarlett Mitchell Nature Area by Maggie Hostetler