City nears deal for park land
Parcel overlooking river long used as Girl Scout camp
BY TRACY DAVIS
News Staff Reporter
The city of Ann Arbor is close to making a deal for a well-known piece of property along the Huron River that’s been used for decades as a Girl Scout camp.
The parcel, roughly 7.7-acres, overlooks the river and is close to nearby parks. It was appraised at about $2.2 million, said Ann Arbor Chief Financial Officer Tom Crawford. And City Council could vote on whether to buy the land as soon as its Aug. 10 meeting, said Council Member Leigh Greden, D-3rd Ward.
It’s not clear what the city plans to do with the mostly wooded site and whether it might be used for active recreation or a nature area. But the site is arguably one of the prime locations in the city, bordering the river and close to other parks, such as Bird Hills, Barton and Kuebler Langford.
“It’s a property that has been at the top of the city’s list for years and years and years,” said Mayor John Hieftje.
The land has belonged to the Girl Scouts of the Huron Valley Council for at least 60 years, said Chief Executive Officer Gail Scott. It has hosted as many as 1,200 Girl Scouts and troop leaders annually, mostly for weekend camping trips and outings to nearby areas.
The potential sale comes after the camp lost its lodge to fire in April. That brought Girl Scout leaders to the idea of a sale, Scott said.
“It’s been in this council so long and has so much history, but this just gave us an opportunity to go in another direction,” she said.
She said the money could be used for the council’s many other needs, possibly on some of its other properties in the area.
A notice posted on the Web site of the Girl Scouts of the Huron Valley said proceeds from the sale will be used to create additional troop house space at the Girl Scouts’ Camp Linden in Livingston County.
Tracy Davis can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 734-994-6856.