Once the working farm that fed patients and employees of the former Traverse City State Hospital, this 56-acre corner of the Grand Traverse Commons is being redeveloped into a one-of-a-kind regional hub for public recreation, community events, agriculture and horticulture. Historic Barns Park is well-known for its namesakes, two large and beautiful barns that were rescued from the wrecking ball to be rehabilitated by the community. In addition to trails, community vegetable gardens, rolling meadows and forest, the park includes programming by two nonprofit partners. SEEDS provides agricultural and environmental education, and the park serves as the home of the Botanic Garden at Historic Barns Park, which will eventually cover nearly half the park and add to the natural beauty of this unique community gem. Visitors are likely to see all of these projects in motion throughout the warmer months.
Currently, visitors are also likely to encounter construction projects on the site as the Recreational Authority and its partners work to rehabilitate the grounds and adapt the historic buildings for new uses. A significant fundraising campaign is ongoing to help support this work. To donate or learn more, visit the Campaign for Historic Barns Park and Botanic Garden page at the Grand Traverse Regional Community Foundation (231-935-4066 or firstname.lastname@example.org). Free guided tours describing the plans for the park and gardens are also available and can be scheduled by contacting the Recreational Authority at 231-929-3696 or email@example.com.