Grand Blanc Commons

parksrec_commonsGrand Blanc Commons

8 Reasons Why Parks Matter
Grand Blanc Commons Layout


The Grand Blanc Community Commons is a nature preserve of 137.5 acres located behind McFarlen Library, 515 Perry Road. Thread Creek runs through the preserve and there are many nature trails present. A bridge allows visitors to cross the creek easily, but the majority of the property has been left as nature intended. Organized groups often gather here for bird-watching and other nature-related activities. Boy Scout Eagle service projects have been completed in the Commons, resulting in groomed trails, creek clean-ups and fallen, dead tree removals as well as the construction and placement of benches, bird and bat houses.

Once a working farm owned by Joseph and Elizabeth McFarlen, and by other members of their family since the early 1800s, the farm was acquired by the City of Grand Blanc in 1981. Mrs. McFarlen decided to sell the property in 1978 and a purchase agreement, contingent on the rezoning of the land to allow the development of office buildings and apartments, was placed by a local building company. When residents opposed the rezoning, it was denied and the sale did not go through. At this time, residents - many from Indian Hill subdivision – decided to try to purchase the property themselves in order to prevent its development. With the help of the Nature Conservancy, a group that purchases land in danger of development, and a $185,000 grant from the Michigan Land Trust, residents were able to raise enough to meet the $265,000 price tag. The process took three years. The land was then deeded to the City and a resolution was passed to ensure that it remain a passive park in perpetuity. Mrs. McFarlen made this statement when the final agreement was made: "I'm very happy that it's going to be used as a park. It may not be well known, but this is what I wanted, although I didn't feel I could get it."

Quite different from the City’s other parks, the Grand Blanc Commons is a natural treasure in the midst of the City’s suburban development. It remains a place for visitors to enjoy wildlife and other forms of nature right inside our own community! Click here to see a GPS map of the trails and other landmarks of the Commons made by a City resident Eagle Scout. See another map drawn by JJ Cardinal's owner Louise Dawson.