The City of Ann Arbor Greenbelt Program is an innovative land preservation program that has protected over 5,491 acres of farmland and open space surrounding the City of Ann Arbor since 2003.
Bur Oaks Farm
Here is footage from the first of many farms protected by the Ann Arbor Greenbelt Program. Tom and Rosanne Bloomer are the owners of Bur Oaks Farm, a 152-acre farm in Webster Township. The farm was protected by the Greenbelt in 2005. Bur Oaks Farm grows specialty popcorn varieties and sources to local Ann Arbor markets.
For more information about Bur Oaks Farm popcorn, please visit their website
Green Things Farm
Nate and Jill Lada are the owners and operators of Green Things Farm, a 60-acre certified organic farm serving local markets. This property is preserved by Ann Arbor Township, and the Greenbelt contributed funding towards the project. For more information about Green Things Farm, please visit their website or visit them out at the Ann Arbor Farmers Market.
Shatter Family Preserve
This beautiful 25 acre property is owned and managed by Legacy Land Conservancy. The Anthony and Rose Shatter Family Preserve is located in Salem Township. It is a high quality mesic southern forest, with several pockets of buttonbush swamps – both of which are considered vulnerable in Michigan. This project was a partnership between the City of Ann Arbor's Greenbelt Program, Salem Township, Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation, and Legacy Land Conservancy.
This 100-acre farm in Lodi Township was protected by the Greenbelt Program in 2009. Originally the Frederick Farm, the property was purchased by the Vestergaard family after the farm was protected by the Greenbelt. This project is an example of how the sale of the development rights can help make land accessible to a new generation of farmers. Vestergaard Farms raises grass-fed cattle, pigs and chickens and utilizes rotational grazing.
You can learn more about Vestergaard Farms on their website
or by visiting their Facebook page
Fox Science Preserve
The 69-acre Fox Science Preserve was established in 2007. Funding support came from Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation Commission’s Natural Areas Preservation Program, the Ann Arbor Greenbelt Program, and Scio Township. Washtenaw County’s description of the preserve:
“A former gravel pit, Fox Science offers a rare opportunity to explore the geology of the region. Ancient table-sized glacial boulders of granite, tillite, gneiss, and limestone are scattered around the base of the former pit. Keep your eye out for fossils in the limestone boulders. Untouched for almost 40 years, the land surface here resembles the landscape that was revealed upon the retreat of the glaciers some 12,000 years ago. In places where plants have started to become established, mosses, prairie grasses, goldenrods, asters and shingle oaks grow on the developing soils."
To learn more about Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation Commission, please visit their website