Staebler Farm Park Development

Blackbird Lodge Ribbon Cutting

On August 8, 2017, the Parks and Recreation Commission adopted the Site Master Plan for Staebler Farm County Park to determine the park's future amenities and recreational opportunities, which will highlight Washtenaw County's rich agricultural heritage. The plan defines an overall vision for the park; sets goals and objectives to guide the physical development; and establishes development phases.

Active Projects

Multipurpose Building

Blackbird Lodge at Staebler Farm County ParkIn 2019, WCPARC began working with architects from The Collaborative to develop a new Multipurpose Building at Staebler Farm Park. The 5,800 sf structure will support park programming and classes for site partner, the Michigan Folk School. The building’s design respects the historic character of the site, taking subtle cues from existing elements. Its location will take advantage of the park’s natural features and picturesque views.

The new building will provide three classrooms, one of which will accommodate a “teaching” kitchen to support classes such as cheesemaking and produce canning. The patio will be used for outdoor programs and events and provide views of the landscape. Patrons visiting the park will have access to the building’s restrooms and pathways will link to the park’s historic area.

In September 2021, the County released an RFP to construct the multipurpose building and associated site development, which the Parks Commission approved at their May meeting. In early 2022, WCPARC entered into a contract with Phoenix Contractors for construction of the multipurpose building and site amenities. 

Finally, in September 2023, the building received a Certificate of Occupancy and the first classes were held. A ribbon cutting ceremony was held for staff and Commissioners. Into 2024, the contractor will continue to complete punch-list items.

View the design here!

Farmhouse Adaptive Reuse Project

In October 2021, WCPARC staff, Michigan Folk School representatives, and architects from The Collaborative kicked-off concept development for farmhouse rehabilitation. In the coming months, the team will work to transform this historic structure for community use. 

At the March 15, 2022, Parks Commission meeting, consultants from The Collaborative presented schematic designs for the farmhouse and historic campus rehabilitation. The Parks Commission authorized staff to work with The Collaborative to develop construction drawings and issue an RFP for construction. 

Architects from The Collaborative continue with design work in early 2024. It is anticipated that construction documents will be complete by late spring. 

View the farmhouse schematic design here.

Site Plan Development

In early 2020, WCPARC began working with design professional from The Collaborative Inc. to develop an overall siteplan, with major focus on North Park elements.  After several months of planning, consultants presented their exciting concepts to Washtenaw County residents on October 28.  If you were unable to attend the virtual meeting, we invite you to view the presentation on our YouTube channel.  After the meetings, staff and consultants reviewed comments and suggestions for consideration.  After several refinements, the Park Development Plan was adopted by the Parks Commission on May 11, 2021, at their regular meeting.  To review a copy of the plan, please click here.

Michigan Folk School

WCPARC has acquired site partner, The Michigan Folk School (MFS), to expand hands-on classes in traditional folk arts, crafts, and skills. In 2019, MFS renovated the workshop for use as a blacksmith and woodworking studio with help from a a matching grant from the Michigan Economic Development Council (MEDC). Concurrently, WCPARC stabilized the farmhouse and restored the former chicken coop for MFS use.