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 property once known as the Hagen Farm was bought by the City of Ann Arbor from Eugene and Emily Leslie in 1963. Eugene was a chemist, professor, and inventor. Totaling about 207 acres, this land is now home to Leslie Park, the Leslie Park Golf Course, the Leslie Science and Nature Center, Leslie Woods Nature Area and more. This property was the largest ever purchased by the city for park and recreational purposes.
Steve Gilzow of the Ann Arbor Observer wrote about the Leslies and their generosity:
"E.H. and Emily Leslie both died in 1976. They had already given their home to the city, retaining a life lease, and had sold the farm for annual payments of $15,000. They forgave the remaining debt in their wills, and left a half-million-dollar trust fund that more than covered the past payments. It was one of the most generous gifts the city has ever received. The farm became Leslie Golf Course, Leslie Park, and Leslie Woods. The Traver Rd. property opened to the public in 1986 as the Leslie Science Center."
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Read historical articles courtesy of the AADL about Eugene and Emily Leslie and their contributions here.