Whose Land Is It?

Posted by – Shawn Keenan, Water Resources Coordinator

Do we really care about our land?

Conservationist Aldo Leopold called this “The Land Ethic.”  He famously said, “We abuse land because we regard it as a commodity belonging to us.  When we see land as a community to which we belong, we may begin to use it with love and respect.”

Generation after generation, the people of the City of Auburn Hills have made a deliberate choice to say … “Yes” our land is important.  Today, we greatly benefit from their vision.

The Clinton River runs through our community.

The Clinton River runs through our community.

Auburn Hills has established a reputation as a financially healthy and progressive community.  Growth is aggressively promoted, while at the same time, protecting and preserving our natural resources is a high priority.  There’s a fine balance between achieving this goal and honoring the rights of individual property owners.

Over the years, the City has adopted several laws that seek a fair balance.  Such as ordinances that protect woodlands and wetlands and encourage developers to save open spaces.  Also, millions of dollars have been spent to acquire and develop acres of parkland, trails, natural preserve areas, and water features.  This was done because a healthy community needs to provide its residents and visitors the ability to connect with the land and the natural environment.

People need areas where they can take a moment from their busy lifestyle to rest on a park bench overlooking a river, relax in the shade of a large oak tree, or explore a wetland to view frogs and turtles.

Auburn Hills is such a beautiful place because of careful planning and investment by several generations of leaders.  We are very grateful that these folks valued the land.  It’s now our turn to continue the tradition.