Press Release 05-29-03

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

The Friends of Dicken Woods
Press Release - May 29, 2003

Web site:
Contact one of the following officers for additional information
  • Erik Stalhandske 769-1498 (home) 930-5881 (work)
  • Naela Jenkins 327-1051
  • Tom Ivacko 741-9484
  • Deb Norbotten 663-3190
  • Jim Boyd 662-8348 (home) (517) 545-7923 (work)

Novi Developer Withdraws Proposal; Friends of Dicken Woods Begin Fundraising for Purchase as City Park

For immediate release
May 29, 2003

Friends of Dicken Woods, a newly incorporated non-profit organization, is taking the initiative to preserve a parcel of land once slated for rezoning and high-density development. CrossWinds Communities of Novi has abandoned plans to clear the last tree-covered, ten-acre plot on the West side of Ann Arbor. Members of the Dicken neighborhood community united to fill the Planning Commission chambers at two meetings, arguing effectively against the rezoning proposal. “ They did their homework and came prepared to fight on behalf of the integrity and quality of their neighborhood. I’m consistently impressed with their high level of commitment of time and energy”, states Margie Teall, 4th Ward City Council Representative. “I’m very supportive of their efforts.”

Friends of Dicken Woods have been encouraged by the current owners of the property, the Catholic Diocese of Lansing, to develop and present an alternative proposal. “We believe that this represents an amazing win-win opportunity for the Church and the community of Ann Arbor,” states Erik Stalhandske, President of the Friends Organization. “The church will receive fair compensation for their property, and this land can be preserved as a park with nature trails and a pond.” This ten acres represents some of the highest elevations in the city, and is on the corner of Pauline and South Maple. It has wetlands, an abundance of wildlife, and more than half is covered with trees.

“Our goal is to raise $50,000 and work with the City to coordinate other funding sources, including the City Parkland Acquisition Millage. Additionally, we will work to tap similar funding from the County park fund, the Michigan DNR and other state sources, and possibly federal sources too”, states Naela Jenkins. Mayor Hieftje, Councilpersons Margie Teall and Wendy Woods, and Ron Olson of the City Parks Department have encouraged the group in their activities and development of a formal proposal.

Friends of Dicken Woods have planned a clean-up day for Saturday, May 31, from 9 to 11 AM. They have also organized a one hundred family yard sale for June 27 and 28 on Dicken Drive, with proceeds supporting their efforts. Another potential activity is a concert at the Ark with local musicians in late August.

Friends of Dicken Woods has over 130 members and a steering committee of approximately 10. See our website for additional information.