Off-Campus Field Research Sites

Saginaw Forest is an 80-acre parcel of land comprising about 55 acres of plantations, Third Sister Lake, and surrounding wetlands. Located 5 miles west of the university campus on Liberty Road, Saginaw Forest lends itself well to the study of forest and sustainable ecosystem management. It serves as a setting for research on diverse topics, including woody plants, forest ecology, freshwater ecology, and soil properties and processes.

The land was a gift to the university from University Regent Arthur Hill of Saginaw in 1903. Some of the land had been used for farming and the soil was in poor condition. So students and faculty in the newly established Department of Forestry (forerunner of SEAS) set to work planting trees. Planting continued until 1937. Several tree species, both native and exotic, make this a rich environment for training and research.

Saginaw Forest is open to the public from 6 a.m. to 6 p.m. only. Further,

  • No vehicles may park in front of the access gate
  • No vehicles or bicycles are permitted on-site except those approved for research and teaching
  • No camping is allowed
  • Dogs must be on a leash, and owners must bring doggie bags to carry out pet waste
  • Cutting or collecting of plants and hunting or harming of vertebrates are not permitted

Learn more about Saginaw Forest:

Stinchfield Woods, northwest of Ann Arbor off North Territorial Road, is a larger area where training in forest and sustainable ecosystem management takes place. The land was acquired in piecemeal fashion beginning in 1925. Now it comprises 777 acres of rolling hills reforested with hardwoods and evergreens. It serves as a field research area for demonstration of forest and sustainable ecosystem management for SEAS faculty and students.

Stinchfield Woods was deeded to the U-M in memory of the Jacob and Charles Stinchfield of Detroit. The Stinchfield brothers were descendants of the lumbermen that harvested Michigan’s giant white pine in the nineteenth century. 

Public use of Stinchfield Woods may occur from dawn to dusk only. Further,

  • No vehicles may park in front of the access gate
  • No vehicles or bicycles are permitted on-site except those approved for research and teaching
  • Dogs must be on a leash
  • Cutting or collecting of plants and hunting or harming of vertebrates are not permitted

For a map and directions, click here.