Guided tours to explore undeveloped green space

By: Linda Shepard | Rochester Post | Published June 5, 2018

ROCHESTER HILLS — Residents are invited to tour city-owned green spaces in a series of free guided hikes on five undeveloped properties.

The Second Saturday Green Space Hikes will be held June through October. Each hike starts at 10 a.m. and is approximately one hour long.

“With green spaces, people don’t know exactly where to go (to get) in there, to actually see them,” Rochester Hills City Councilwoman Susan Bowyer said. The guided hikes are designed to introduce residents to the natural areas.

“You can get a real feel for what it is like, and then you can go on your own,” Bowyer said.

Rochester Hills Green Space Advisory Board members will answer questions and share information regarding the preservation of undeveloped and protected green spaces on the tours.

“These one-hour hikes will be a great opportunity to come enjoy the captivating scenery while learning about what makes each green space unique,” Mayor Bryan Barnett said in an email.  

Land off of Ruby Avenue, west of Livernois Road, is first on the hike schedule, with a tour planned for 10 a.m. June 9.

“It is a 10-acre property, which is really a gorgeous place,” Bowyer said. The land is home to woodlands, prairie and wetlands habitats, and a variety of wildlife. It was the first preserved green space in the southern portion of the city.

Twelve acres of diverse topography and habitats on wooded, steep-sloped land off the Clinton River, near Cloverport and Childress streets, will be explored July 14. A tour of a large, 48-acre tract near Innovation Hills Park is on the schedule for Aug. 11.

Land between Harding Avenue and the Clinton River Trail that features the water, scenic bluffs and preserved woodlands will be toured Sept. 8, and the final tour, a second look at the Ruby Avenue property, will examine summer restoration efforts Oct. 13.

Thanks to a voter-approved green space millage fund, the featured land will be protected and maintained, and efforts will be made for pedestrian accessibility.

All green space hikes will begin in the Rochester Hills City Hall visitor parking lot, located at 1000 Rochester Hills Drive, off of Avon Road, west of Livernois Road.

Closed-toe shoes, socks, long pants and bug spray are recommended. Dogs, strollers and bikes are not permitted on the hikes, which are not currently handicapped accessible.

Registration for the guided hikes is required at rochesterhills.org/outdoors or by calling (248) 656-4673. For more information about Rochester Hills’ green spaces, visit RochesterHills.org/greenspace.