Harding property designated as green space

By: Linda Shepard, | Rochester Post | Published June 14, 2017

ROCHESTER HILLS — Property adjacent to the Clinton River Trail and the Clinton River will receive green space designation.

The 2-acre parcel is located on the south side of the Clinton River Trail, adjacent to a larger Harding green space property east of Livernois Road and north of Avon Road.

“This is land the city already owns,” Rochester Hills City Council President Mark Tisdel said.

“It was donated in the 1980s to the city,” Director of Parks and Forestry Ken Elwert said.

In 2005, Rochester Hills voters approved a 0.3-mill, 10-year millage to acquire and preserve green space. In 2013, voters approved revising permissible use of the millage revenue to provide for stewardship — including the protection, care and maintenance of green space, and to improve pedestrian accessibility.

By a vote of 6-2 June 5, the Rochester Hills City Council approved the new designation for the 2-acre Harding parcel. Councilwoman Stephanie Morita and Councilman Thomas Wiggins voted against approval, stating it would restrict the city’s control of the property. 

“It is suffering from use erosion,” Morita said.

“This property is adjacent to the trail. People walk all the way down to the river. We can get rid of invasive species while retaining more control of the property in order to protect it,” Wiggins said.

“This little tiny sliver of property — it is very treed,” Councilwoman Susan Bowyer said. “It is right on the water. The Green Space (Advisory) Committee’s idea is that because it is near the water it will be protected and always be green space, with no trail on it.” 

Elwert said the land will be managed in coordination with the nearby 27-acre Harding green space that the city purchased in 2008. The property features scenic bluffs, giving visitors the opportunity to view a variety of wildlife.

The new green space property includes many of the same features and was given a “high priority” for acquisition by the city’s Green Space Advisory Committee, Elwert said.

A map of Rochester Hills green space acquisitions can be found at www.rochesterhills.org.