The city of Rochester is purchasing a 3.8-acre parcel on Livernois Road to add to its Ruby Green Space.

The city of Rochester is purchasing a 3.8-acre parcel on Livernois Road to add to its Ruby Green Space.

Map provided by the city of Rochester Hills

Rochester Hills approves purchase of 3.8 acres to expand Ruby Green Space

By: Mary Beth Almond | Rochester Post | Published January 10, 2024


ROCHESTER HILLS — Nature enthusiasts will soon be able to explore some additional acreage within the Ruby Green Space in Rochester Hills.

The Rochester Hills City Council recently unanimously approved the purchase of a 3.8-acre parcel on Livernois Road to add to the already existing 13.92-acre Ruby Green Space parcel located at 1380 Ruby Ave., west of Livernois.

“We always consider (purchasing property) if we can get some land next to parcels that we own — and that was part of the reason for the Ruby Green Space,” said Ken Elwert, the city’s director of parks and natural resources.

The nearly 4-acre property at 3514 S. Livernois Road was recently posted for sale due to the passing of its previous owner, who Elwert said previously donated about 4 acres of land to the city to expand the size of its currently existing Ruby Green Space.

The Ruby Green Space, located immediately adjacent to Avondale Middle School, was the first green space acquired by the city that was located in the southern portion of Rochester Hills.

Rochester Hills City Councilwoman Susan Bowyer remembers when the city purchased the first 10 acres for the Ruby Green Space approximately eight years ago. City officials said they were interested in the property for its old-growth tree canopy and over 1.6 acres of wetlands, designated a wildlife habitat area.

“The City Council wasn’t so happy to spend the $125,000, I think it was, so we had to really talk about how important that 10 acres was to get the City Council eight years ago to agree to get that first 10 acres there,” Bowyer said. “Then, to have the next (almost 4 acres) donated was phenomenal.”

Bowyer said she’s thrilled with the fact that the city can now purchase the adjacent property.

“All of that land is in beautiful, pristine condition. It’s like you’re Up North in the forest,” she said. “When you are in there, you can’t see neighbors. You can’t hear traffic. It’s just a great getaway. If you want a mental health day and a mental health break, just go to the Ruby property and spend an hour there. You definitely will reset and get back to nature.”

Mayor Bryan Barnett recently negotiated a purchase agreement for the latest 3.8 acres for $440,000. City officials said the property has an assessed value of $459,060.

The majority of the cost will come from the city’s Green Space Trust Fund, which supports current and future green space properties.

“I think there’s over $330,000 available in the Green Space Trust Fund for that, and the remainder can come from the general fund,” Elwert said.

The Livernois property — which currently contains a house and a barn-like structure that city officials said would be demolished — will increase the overall green space size of the Ruby Green Space to approximately 17 acres.

The new property can be accessed from a driveway on Livernois Road, so Elwert said a small parking lot could be constructed in the future to allow access to the trails within the Ruby Green Space.

“There’s now about 17 acres of basically woodlands and some small vernal pools — pools that only appear for part of the year in that area. During parts of the year, you might hear amphibians in that area …  and it has some little trails that go through the woods. It’s a nice little walk,” Elwert said.

For more information about green spaces in Rochester Hills, visit or contact the Parks and Natural Resources Department at (248) 656-4673.