Note: This is archived info from the original website for the Friends of Dicken Woods. 
It was written when the Friends were in the process of saving DW


Breaking News!

July 17, 2003

The following announcement was distributed to the Friends mailing list on July 17, 2003:

We received great news on Tuesday: the Ann Arbor Parks Advisory Commission was very receptive to our suggestion that Dicken Woods be purchased by the City as parkland. The next step is for the PAC to discuss the purchase price with the property owner, the Diocese of Lansing. This wonderful success is a tribute to the organization and unity that the Friends of Dicken Woods have shown over the past few months.

Everyone needs to understand that the City's interest is contingent on Friends of Dicken Woods living up to our commitment to contribute at least $50,000 toward the purchase or maintenance of the property. The good news is that this process has gone far more quickly than we dared to hope; the more challenging news is that means that we have a relatively short time (approximately two months) to do some very serious fundraising. In other words, we have a window of opportunity here in which we CAN make the preservation of Dicken Woods a reality, but this will require us to dig into our pockets.

Let's lay out the facts to help people understand what must be done to finalize the purchase (assuming, of course, that the City and the Diocese reach agreement on the price and other terms):

Friends of Dicken Woods is now incorporated as a nonprofit and has applied for tax exempt status, has elected officers (including a Treasurer) and has established an account at a local bank from which we can accept and disburse money. We have a couple thousand dollars in the account from proceeds of the garage sale (net reimbursements for expenses such as the yard signs and the environmental assessment), and we have already received pledges for approximately half of the money needed from a hard core of supporters. These neighbors have pledged $1000 - $5000 apiece. We hope that more people will consider contributions of this scale, because the purchase by the City is NOT a done deal. It will fall through if the neighborhood does not vote with its wallets to support the land acquisition, and we'll be back to fighting developers (with a lot less credibility as an organization if we can't put real money on the line).

Of course we realize that such contributions are impractical for many families, but let's do some math: There are approximately 250 families in the Dicken neigborhood; an average donation of $100 per family will put us over the top and make the preservation of the woods a reality. Consider the benefits that your family will experience once this land is preserved as a natural area and made more accessible for community enjoyment, and decide whether a contribution in this range is within your budget.

We have also organized a fundraising benefit concert at the Ark on August 21 featuring several excellent and well-known local performers. We can realistically raise $5000 - $7000 if we can sell most of the 400 tickets available for this concert at $20. We need FDW members to buy tickets, sell tickets, and encourage people to attend!

Or perhaps you have other ideas that would help raise a good chunk of money in a couple of months. Perhaps you can explain what we're doing to some neighbors who are not on our email list but would reap the benefits of a public park or nature area in the neighborhood. Perhaps you know of a local business or a charitably-inclined individual who can help? Or maybe Bill Gates owes you a favor and might be persuaded to contribute a couple of seconds worth of his income to the cause (grin). Be creative!

In short, we need one more jolt of energy to solidify the great successes of the efforts to date. Please help! Make a pledge, buy some tickets, sell tickets to your co-workers ... but please don't let this marvelous opportunity to Save Dicken Woods expire.

Chances like this are rare indeed. You can help leave a wonderful legacy for our neighborhood, for the entire city, and for the school children of Dicken Elementary. To arrange your tax deductible donation, please do any of the following:

  • use the on-line pledge form on the website (
  • or email
  • or call Erik Stalhandske, President of the Friends at 769-1498
  • or Deb Norbotten, Treasurer, at 663-3190.

Contribution checks can be made out to "Friends of Dicken Woods" and mailed or taken to Deb at 2304 Kent, Ann Arbor, 48103.