Staebler Farm County Park

Red barn at Staebler Farm
Blackbird Lodge at Staebler Farm County Park


Staebler Farm County Park is a wonderful new community asset currently under development. Purchased in 2001 from Mr. Donald Staebler and the Heidt Family Trust, the property is a prime example of a late 19th/early 20th farmstead once common in Washtenaw County.

Staebler Farm County Park is in the first phase of development. Access is only permitted south of Plymouth Road.

The 98-acre property consists of:

  • Historical buildings
  • Lakes
  • Farm fields
  • Meadows
  • Mature woodlots
  • Wetlands
  • Parking lot and natural surface trails
  • The Michigan Folk School campus (more information below)

Michigan Folk School at Staebler Farm County Park

Staebler Farm County Park is home to the Michigan Folk School (MFS) and now part of Washtenaw County Parks. Since 2017, the Commission has partnered with MFS to provide an array of classes and programs at the park. This recent acquisition allows expanded class offerings in traditional folk arts, crafts and skills, including woodworking, blacksmithing, metalwork, leather making, and many more. Visit us at to enroll in 2023 classes!

Michigan Folk School Advisory Committee – CALL FOR APPLICANTS

The Michigan Folk School is dedicated to keeping learning, tradition, and community alive. Their classes create a community that honors and shares the old ways of doing things — offering access to skills you once might have learned while sitting on your grandparents' porch or as part of your community.  MFS currently offers more than 300 classes a year ranging from woodworking and blacksmithing to stained glass, weaving and leatherwork and much more.  In January 2023, The Michigan Folk School was acquired by Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation.  In addition, a new multipurpose building is nearing completion which will expand the classroom space to include 3 additional rooms, including a learning kitchen.  More expansions are planned in the coming years which will provide additional spaces for class and event expansion.  Given these expansions, the Parks and Recreation Commission is looking to establish a multi-disciplinary advisory committee to help guide the growth and strategic direction of the MFS to meet the community’s needs and interests.  

We are looking for folks with backgrounds in folk arts, education, agriculture, as well as representatives from the public at large to serve on the advisory committee.  Meetings will take place quarterly, but may be more frequent at the formation of the committee.  

Interested in serving?

Click here to submit the application form by July 31, 2023.

Park Mission

Staebler Farm County Park, a community resource, will foster sustainable, healthy living and celebrate the rich farming traditions of Washtenaw County through historical collections, interpretive programming, agricultural uses, and a variety of recreational opportunities.

Site Master Plan

A Site Master Plan has been developed 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.

Through the planning process, Parks staff sought stakeholder and public input to help develop the goals, general plan concepts, and desired recreational amenities. The plan is intended to be flexible in order to adapt to changing community needs and funding sources.

On August 8, 2017, the Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation Commission adopted the park's Site Master Plan.  In January of 2020, staff began working with consultants from The Collaborative Inc. to formalize plan elements, focusing on north park development. Later that summer and fall, multiple virtual meetings were held to gather input from stakeholders, Parks Commissioners, and members of the public. Staff and consultants then 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.

Project Updates

Visit our Park Development page to learn more. Updates will be posted as available.