The Friends of Highland Recreation Area spent most of this last Sunday weatherizing and landscaping around the former Gatehouse of the Edsel Ford Haven Hill Estate. Since it's construction in the 1920's, the structure was originally the main entrance for Edsel's sprawling complex which now lies within the Highland Recreation Area. The building had been re-purposed as the park superintendents' home by the Michigan DNR who bought the entire estate in the 1940's. Since the 1970's the building has been vacant and fallen into disrepair.
Above: The Haven Hill Gatehouse early Sunday morning prior to FOHRA volunteer work.
FOHRA members tarped a large hole in the roof and used heavy equipment donated by Dean Sutton to clean up the grounds and perform much needed landscaping. Years of debris and vandalism refuse was removed from the garage and breezway.
Above: The Edsel Ford Gatehouse after FOHRA and WWAM work this last Sunday, May 17, 2009.
The roof received heavy tarp material to stop rain and snow penetration. The tarp was secured and then clean-up of the structure and grounds-keeping were performed all day. "It's amazing how much can be accomplished by a group working together in just one day", a FOHRA member said.
Above: The Haven Hill Gatehouse with new roof weatherizing tarps installed by FOHRA.
The Friends group was also supported by a "WWAM Team", a helpful source of skills and labor from Oakland County. The WWAM program benefits the community in many ways and is a truly successful Oakland County program.
Above: A rear view of the historic garage attached to the living quarters by a breeze-way. Walkways (front) were found and exposed from under years of layered sod and soil.
The Gatehouse is one of several structures within the park that are being targeted for revitalization by the Friends of Highland Recreation Area. FOHRA is a non-profit volunteer organization that works in conjunction with the MDNR to support the Recreation Area. Come on out and volunteer... check the FOHRA website at www.fohra.org for information.