Scio Township’s Land Preservation Program purchases 44 acres on Marshall Road

Scio Township’s Land Preservation Program recently purchased a conservation easement on a 44 acre property located on Marshall Road from Dennis & Sandy Haas, and an option to purchase the property at a future time.

The property is comprised almost entirely of high quality upland woods, part of a large wooded complex that has been a preservation focus for many years.  It is adjacent to a 100 acre easement property, with a 34 acre property next to that purchased by the township last year as a preserve and that next to a 60 acre easement property.  All told there are 238 contiguous acres of protected farmland and open space in that area of the township.

This property has been in Dennis’ family since the 1960s when his parents purchased it.  Prior to his ownership, the land was a farm and once an apple orchard.  Dennis and Sandy purchased a portion of the land from his parents many years back, and moved their sons from the city to the country to grow up surrounded by nature.  Dennis embraces the beautiful natural setting and knows that future generations of his family will love and take care of the farm as he has done.  He is particularly glad that the land will not be developed and nature will continue to thrive.

Conservation easements are permanent deed restrictions on the use of a property.  Purchasing easements costs less than buying the property, and keeps the property on the tax rolls and contributing to the local economy.

Scio Township’s land preservation program is funded by a dedicated millage which voters passed initially in 2004 and renewed in 2012, both by large margins.  The Township has attracted over $8 million of matching funds from other sources, a rate of $1 to $1 of its own.  With this project the Township program has been involved in protecting 1,479 acres, with more projects set to close in the coming months.

The township also had funding support from the Washtenaw County Natural Area Preservation Program and the Ann Arbor Greenbelt program.