A planned seed orchard on two parcels of land near Brighton, Mich., eventually could grow into a parklike setting with well-spaced, healthy trees and grassy areas. But first, the hilly land owned by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) between Brighton Road and Cunningham Lake Road in Genoa Township, in southeast Livingston County, needs to be leveled to accommodate the orchard. The most cost-effective route to that is a short-term lease of the rights to mine sand and gravel on the properties.
“We’re not offering this lease to make money,” said Jason Hartman, silviculturist for the DNR. “It’s one step in a series of steps toward getting to our goal for state forest planning and for this land. It’s good for the state and good to have more green space in the community.” The DNR will schedule a public meeting this month to discuss the steps in the multiyear process and answer residents’ questions.