The Blog of the Friends of Highland Recreation Area
Great news for park visitors that are bothered by unpaved and sometimes muddy or dusty bumpy roads… the long-awaited road paving project at the Highland State Recreation Area will begin in July! New blacktop roads will be installed throughout the summer starting after July 8, 2019.
To avoid conflicts with the paving of roads and of the Goose Meadow and Edsel Ford parking areas, the annual Haven Hill Festival will be moved from its’ currently scheduled date of July 27 to Saturday, October 19.
The major road paving project will cause some inconveniences when various areas of the park are repaved and repaired. Park visitors are encouraged to be patient and safe with road crews as they do their jobs throughout the summer.
As a result of the newly announced paving schedule the Friends of Highland Recreation Area have rescheduled the annual Haven Hill Festival to Saturday, October 19. A Fall season theme will add new enjoyment to the day of vintage baseball, beautiful collector cars, outdoor activities, Haven Hill History, and more.
State Park visitors are reminded that 2019 is the 100th anniversary of the Michigan State Park system and that Highland State Recreation Area was a pillar in the newly formed state park system as the lands of Haven Hill were contributed by Eleanor Ford.
What does a Model T Ford automobile and a Michigan State Park have in common you might ask? Both were created 100 years ago and came together at Highland State Recreation Area on Saturday, May 18 in White Lake/Highland, Michigan of course!
The members of the “Casual T’s” driving club, members of the Model T Ford Club International (MTFCI), brought a huge collection of their beautiful automobiles to the Highland State Recreation Area to the Friends groups’ annual Redbud Reveal season-opening event at the Park. The Model T automobile was built by the Ford Motor Company from 1908 until 1927. Hosted by the Friends of Highland Recreation Area, their day at Haven Hill (former country Estate of Edsel and Eleanor Ford) was a fantastic celebration of the 100th Anniversary of the Michigan State Parks!
The members of FOHRA wish to thank the Casual T’s for coming to Haven Hill at Highland State Recreation Area on the weekend of the Michigan State Parks’ 100th Anniversary! Fantastic!
Come and enjoy a free guided nature hike in the Haven Hill Natural Area on Saturday, October 7th. Friends of Highland Recreation Area volunteers will take you on a journey through a portion of the park to see the waters, wildlife, and forests of this special natural preserve. The hike will be slow-paced to enjoy nature and the fall colors, with plenty of opportunities for taking photos.
The trail traverses through woods and hills and alongside Haven Hill Lake. Interesting information will be shared such as some history of the park, the importance of controlled burns, and why leaves turn color in the fall. Look for turtles, frogs and possibly a water snake or two as the group crosses the Haven Hill Lake dam!
The October 7 hike is scheduled from 2:00 - 5:00 pm that Saturday, and will start from the Goose Meadow parking lot. Children and dogs welcome. Be sure to bring plenty of water (even if it's not warm outside) and wear shoes with good tread - they will keep you and your feet happy.
Cost: The Hike is free and a Recreation Passport is required for the State park entry. No RSVP required, just show up and have fun! These enjoyable hikes are planned to be held quarterly, so watch for future opportunities to enjoy a guided hike at Haven Hill.
Highland State Recreation Area, 5200 E. Highland Rd, White Lake, Michigan.
Highland State Recreation Area is located east of Hartland and west of Pontiac on Highland Road (M-59) between Duck Lake and Bogie Lake Roads and is open from 8:00 am to 10:00 pm every day of the year, including holidays.
Friends of Highland Recreation Area
PO Box 800, Highland, Michigan, 48357
Lots of folks have heard of Boy Scout "Jamborees" but few have heard of Girl Scout "Roundups". The 1st ever Girl Scout Senior Roundup was held at Highland State Recreation Area in 1956. The Park was transformed into a small "tent city", and thousands of Scouts and their Leaders attended. The following are excerpts from the official Friends of Highland Recreation Area Press Release:
On Saturday, August 26, 2017, at 1:00 pm EST, a special commemorative informational sign created with the assistance of the MotorCities organization of the National Park Service, will be unveiled at the Park during the 2017 Haven Hill Festival. Girl Scouts young and old are encouraged to attend the Festival to learn of and recall the memories of one of the organizations’ most significant outdoor gatherings. The ceremony is open to the public and everyone is encouraged to attend.
The Friends of Highland Recreation Area volunteers are pleased to announce the commemoration of the first-ever Girl Scout Senior Roundup which was held at Michigan’s Highland State Recreation Area in 1956. Scouts and their Leaders from all 48 states and the territories of Alaska and Hawaii traveled by plane, train, bus, and automobile to attend the 12-day gathering from June 29 to July 10, 1956. Ten other countries from around the world were also represented at the giant multi-day campout.
In preparation for the 1956 Roundup, an enormous one square mile encampment was created on the land of the former Edsel and Eleanor Ford Haven Hill Estate within the Highland State Recreation Area with the help of the United States 5th Army. The military troops built roads, assembled large tents, installed shower facilities, and even erected a press tent. The hundreds of large and small tents and other US Army-constructed facilities resembled a small city with water pipes and electrical power, telephone lines, food facilities, and even a small hospital for the over 6,000 Girl Scouts, their Leadership, guests, and visiting dignitaries.
An informative display of re-printed original photographs telling the story of the 1956 Roundup event will be on display at this years’ Haven Hill Festival on Saturday, August 26 from 10:00 am until 3:00 pm in the Goose Meadow festival tent.
The Haven Hill Festival is an alcohol-free outdoor family event held yearly at Highland State Recreation Area in White Lake, Michigan. In addition to the Scouts Ceremony, this year’s Festival will include summer foods and beverages, live brass band music, a barbershop quartet, a vintage base ball exhibition game, a fundraising Commemorative Brick Sale at the Gate House and an Antiques and Collectibles Sale at the Edsel Ford Barn. Proceeds from the food, beverage, and fundraising sales provide funding for the Friends group to continue their renovations of the remaining Edsel and Eleanor Ford Haven Hill structures and properties.
The Highland State Recreation Area is located at 5200 Highland Road (M-59) White Lake, Michigan, 48383. (248) 889-3750. Admission is with your Michigan Recreation Passport status on your vehicle license plate.
For more information go to www.fohravolunteers.org.
Article Contact: Jay Fitzgerald, Secretary, Friends of Highland Recreation Area. Ph.: (248) 494-8919
Saturday, May 6, 10 am until 3:00 pm
The season opening “Redbud Reveal” event is this Saturday May 6 at Haven Hill in Highland State Recreation Area. Come out and enjoy the historic Haven Hill structures in a beautiful Spring setting. And it’s perfect timing – the redbud trees are in bloom!
Also enjoy an Antiques and Collectibles Sale fundraiser at the Edsel Ford barn. During the sale, see the developments that the Friends of Highland Recreation Area volunteers have completed to rebuild this historic structure - and take home a few items for your home, family, and friends. All sale proceeds benefit the friends group and their efforts at the state park.
This year’s event day will feature a special fundraiser at Edsel and Eleanor Ford’s former Haven Hill Gate House. A Brick Pavers sale will allow you to donate to the friends group and place a permanent brick paver on the historic Gate House grounds in memory of your love ones or special pets. The pavers will be installed later this year, and you will be able to enjoy them forever on the beautiful grounds of Edsel and Eleanor Fords’ former Haven Hill Gate House. A display table with brochures and information, as well as friends group volunteers, will be there to answer questions during the event on Saturday.
Visit the website at www.fohravolunteers.org for more information. See you Saturday at the Park!
Friends of Highland Recreation Area Annual Meeting Wednesday
2016 Annual Meeting, 6:30 pm - 8:30 pm, Wednesday, November 2
Huron Valley Council for the Arts Building
205 West Livingston Road, Highland, MI 48357 (248) 889-8660
The Board of Directors of the Friends of Highland Recreation Area (FOHRA) would like to welcome its Members and the public to the 2016 FOHRA Annual Meeting and Social. Our yearly event showcases FOHRA’s volunteer activity at Edsel and Eleanor Ford’s former Haven Hill estate within the Highland State Recreation Area.
2016 Meeting Highlights
Guest Speaker Mr. Mark Campbell of the Henry Ford Heritage Association will be presenting
“The Impact of Henry Ford”. FOHRA member Jay Fitzgerald will give a special presentation about the Ford Model A automobile as an introduction to a special award for the Livingston A’s driving club.
• 6:30 – 7:00 pm: Sign-In and Social
Guestbook Sign-In. Enjoy visiting with FOHRA members and seeing some informative Haven Hill exhibits. Appetizers, desserts, and light beverages will be served.
• 7:00 – 7:15 pm: Welcome: FOHRA Annual Business Meeting
2016 Good Evening & Welcome, Required Votes - FOHRA President; - Dick Russell
• 7:15 – 7:35 pm “The Impact of Henry Ford”: A Presentation by Mr. Mark Campbell of the Henry Ford Heritage Association. Come and enjoy Mark’s presentation about the impact of Henry Ford on people of the world.
• 7:35 – 7:45 pm: Special Presentation: Pettibone Creek Questers – The Pettibone Creek Questers will make a special presentation at the Annual Meeting
• 7:45 – 8:00 pm: Presentation: “The Model A Ford Automobile” – Jay Fitzgerald. A history of the Model A and Edsel’s role in its development and production.
• 8:00 – 8:15 pm: Special Presentation: The FOHRA Presidents Award and Special Gift to the Livingston A’s
• 8:15 – 8:30 pm: Overview of Future Programs – Dick Russell
FOHRA Focus for late fall 2016 and 2017 future.
• 8:30 pm: Adjournment
• 8:30 - 8:45 pm: Light Refreshments and Desserts Among “Friends”
FOHRA is committed to supporting the Highland State Recreation Area by assisting and promoting interpretive, scientific, historical, and educational visitor services.
The Antiques and Collectibles Sale at the Edsel Ford Barn, Vintage Model A Ford cars from the Livingston A's, an 1860's Base Ball game, Summer Food, Fun, and Beverages and even a Dog Costume Parade! All great things to see and do at the 2016 Haven Hill Festival at Highland State Recreation Area this coming Saturday, August 27. But did you know that there will be Art, History and the Outdoors too?
This year's Festival will include Art, History, and Photography on display at the Haven Hill Gate House complex. Come and see beautiful paintings and photography and other Haven Hill "art in the outdoors". And make sure to visit the Goose Meadow tent for short Haven Hill guided hikes throughout the day.
Come to the Haven Hill Festival and enjoy free shuttle rides by the Gate House, Goose Meadow, Haven Hill, and the Edsel Ford Barn for these great experiences between 10 am and 3:00 pm this Saturday. And don't forgot a trip via the Shuttle up Haven Hill to experience the self-guided walking tour of Edsel and Eleanor Ford's former Haven Hill Lodge footprint. Informational signs will be out all day for your perusal.
Children and adults will enjoy seeing and learning of Haven Hill's rich history while experiencing the beauty of the People and Nature that have called Haven Hill their home both in the past and the present. And it looks like we may have great weather too!
Friday night, June 3, will be the premiere evening for a Haven Hill paintings and photography exhibit at the Huron Valley Council for the Arts (HVCA) gallery in Highland, Michigan. The opening reception will be held between 7:00 and 9:00 pm. FOHRA member artists Larry Falardeau (painter) and Jay Fitzgerald (photographer) will have their Haven Hill exhibits featured at the Gallery and on display to the public from June 1 - 25. Read on about the Highland Township Library event...
... and Historical Presentations to be held June 1 & 16 at the HIGHLAND TOWNSHIP LIBRARY
This series of fine art, photographs, and presentations pays tribute to the People and Place of Haven Hill - The Historic Farm Estate of The Edsel & Eleanor Ford Family from 1923-1943. From the era of Native Americans through the Ford Family years to today’s visitors and supporters who share these lands and their individual stories in a special way.
No other citizen volunteer of Michigan was as instrumental in the establishment of today’s system of Michigan State Parks and Natural Areas as was Emma Genevieve Gillette. Come learn of her extraordinary efforts on behalf of Michigan’s environment which tie back locally to Haven Hill - The Historic Edsel and Eleanor Ford Family Farm Estate at Highland State Recreation Area.
Edsel Ford, the only child of Henry and Clara Ford, along with his wife Eleanor created a working farm and family estate in what is now Highland State Recreation Area. Learn the story of Haven Hill from 1923 -1943 in a PBS quality video story. Learn what has been accomplished to date to restore the facilities and retell the story, plus what is being planned for the future.
Come and enjoy the Art of Haven Hill at the HVCA.
The Friends of Highland Recreation Area have recently digitized the original Chris Arble Haven Hill "Possibilities" film that in many ways gave the volunteer Friends group their start. The movie continues to inspire others today and can now be see on YouTube at the FOHRA Volunteers video site.
Although many of you have seen this 14 minute film before, others will enjoy seeing the story of Haven Hill's past and ideas for the present and future. Take a break and give it a special viewing...
The film can be seen on YouTube at THIS LINK.