Meet Our New Goats



   Meet our new partners in the control of invasive species and undergrowth at Sandra Richardson park.  The goats are owned by Mike Mourer of Twin Willow Ranch located near Milan, Michigan.

Goats are a great natural source for controlling undergrowth in open land areas.  These goats are a Boer breed that originated in South Africa around 1900. Their name is derived from Afrikaans (Dutch) word boer, meaning farmer. (reference Wikipedia).  Boer goats are popular for their meat.   According to Mike, goat meat is consumed more the any other meat around the world.

Twin Willow Ranch has about 50 head of goats and Mike uses the goats in a dual management role.  As you may know, goats are known to eat almost everything, including poison ivy.  They are especially valuable for controlling the invasive species of plants that continue to take over open land areas.  With using goats on yearly basis, they become a valuable natural source of land management, especially for park land such as Sandra Richardson park.

In the dual management role of his ranch, Mike raises the goats for meat and rents out the goats, for about 20 years now, to manage areas of land owned by Universities, State and local Townships.   Twin Willows Ranch benefits from the meat of the goats and by renting them out, they are producing a second income for the ranch.  A third benefit from the goats is the land owners who have use the goats as part of a land management process.


 Working with Mike and Twin Willow Ranch has been a very pleasant experience.  Seeing the goats munching away on the underbrush and sometimes standing on their back legs is fun to watch. The York Township Park’s Committee looks forward to working with Twin  Willow Ranch as a great, natural resource for managing areas of Sandra Richardson and Mary McCann Parks.

For more information on the use of goats and Twin Willow Ranch contact Mike Mourer at 734-439-8170

Or e-mail him at

Or visit his Facebook page at Twin Willow Ranch

For more information about this article and York Township Parks phone 734-439-8842


Article written by Paul Fairchild

Chair – York Township Parks & Recreation Committee


    Beautification Around Mary McCann Park Sign

John Bulmer, a former York Township Trustee, and York Township Park Committee Alumni approached our park committee with an offer of a grant from Gleaners Life Insurance Company, headquartered in Adrian Michigan.  Gleaners Life Insurance Company offers to it’s policy holders, such as John, a $250 grant to encourage giving back to the community and support of charitable programs.

Ideas were discussed at our monthly park committee meeting and Kathy Fischer had a great idea of improving the immediate area around the Mary McCann Park sign along Warner Road.  With the park committee’s approval, she partnered with Joan Black, a Master Gardener and together decided on some Columbines, Anemones and Astilbe.

With flower list in hand, Adam Freeburn did a great job in finalizing and organizing the actual purchasing and setting a planting date of June 2, 2018.

On that Saturday morning, Kristen Schaldenbrand, Pete Swope, Adam Freeburn, John Bulmer and myself ( Paul Fairchild) tackled the job.  We had a great time and fun while working together and within in a short time frame, had everything planted.  Mulch was added, the area finalized, and the project was done.  I say, “Well done” I always enjoy working with such great people in our township and area.

Our park committee says many thanks to John Bulmer, Joan Black, Kathy Fischer and Gleaners Life Insurance Company!  Special thanks go to Kristen Schaldenbrand, Pete Swope & Adam Freeburn for their help!

Pictured are ( L to R ): Adam Freeburn, Pete Swope, Kristen Schaldenbrand, & John Bulmer

Mary McCann Park is located between Willis & Bemis Roads on Warner Road.   Mary McCann Park offers multiple trails through woods and open prairie type settings.  It is a quiet, natural park, offering visitors an escape from their daily activities.

Come, enjoy York Township’s two great parks!  Sandra Richardson and Mary McCann.

Paul Fairchild

Chair – York Township Parks & Recreation Committee

YTPR Family Day at Sandra Richardson Park, September 17, 2016

The rain falling Saturday could not stop residents of York Township from heading to Sandra Richardson Park for Family Fun Day. Below is a photo of the bouncy houses ready for the event to start. Under the pavilion there were free hots dogs to everyone that attended. The main events included a Magic show, a demonstration from Michigan Search and Rescue, two fire engines and an ambulance to look over as well as a hay ride through the park for the young and young at heart. The event was the brain child of Dave Wizgird, a committee member on the YTPR committee and supported by all the York Township board members and committee members. Lucas, (age 7 and 3/4ths) said it best when he announced “Wow, This place is really fun!!”


famday2 famday3


Little Free Library comes to Sandra Richardson Park!

little-lib1York Township’s Sandra Richardson Park was the lucky recipient of a Little Free Library from the Village Painters, Livonia, on August 16, 2016. They donated the Library box, which was built by Rich Handley and painted by Sherri Redd. The artist beautifully incorporated paintings from the story “The Rainbow Fish” by Marcus Pfister as inspiration for the exterior of the little free library.  Pat Butler, the community project coordinator for Village Painters worked with YTPR committee member Kathy Fischer to find a good spot for the box. It was installed between the parking lot and pavilion off the Platt Road entrance in Sandra Richardson Park. There are many great books in the box, come and take or trade one to keep this great benefit available for all.



Dedication ceremony for SRP Little Free Library

New Trail Marker System for Sandra Richardson Park

New Trail Marker System for Sandra Richardson Park

Check out the new trail marker system in SRP.  The design of the system broke the current pathways into four lengths or “loops”.  The yellow loop is the shortest, followed by green, then red, which goes through the woods and finally blue which is the longest and also goes through the woods.   Park maps at Platt Rd and Willis Rd parking lots are new and reflect the colored trail loops.  Please note that the current pathway layout at SRP combines, at different points, multiple colored loops along the same pathway.

When you enter from the parking lot, please take a look at the park map.  Notice how the loops overlap in spots.  For instance, starting at the Platt Road park map, please notice the marker post with four solid line colors on it.



This marker indicates the starting point of all four loops and therefore show four solid color bars.

Along the way you’ll see different markers showing loop directions if a colored loop is splitting off.


Here you’re standing on the yellow and green loop.  Red & blue loop will go into the woods or you can continue on the yellow/green loop.

Other signs you’ll see along the way are below.  Again follow colored arrow on the colored loop of your choice.



Some other signs we have added to the park are:




Shown below are Pete and Norm installing a trail loop marker and a Maintenance Area sign.



For those of you who are new to our parks, we hope the new trail marker system is simple for you to use and helpful.  To all, we hope you continue to enjoy our parks and use them to take a walk, run or just get out and enjoy the beauty.

Paul Fairchild

Chair – York Township Parks and Recreation Committee

monarch butterfly




The Monarch (Danaus Plexippus) is one of our most beautiful butterflies. They are colorful, graceful, one of our major pollinators and a lovely sight to see.  The Monarch chrysalis is a beautiful green and gold pod.  Have you noticed fewer cruising in your yard and garden than in past years?  At one time they could be counted in the billions but currently the count is more like a few hundred thousand that migrate in the fall every year to Mexico then return in the spring in an adventure that is very hazardous.  The Center for Food Safety ( monitors the Monarch and has stated that it is in danger of extinction.


Why do we care about Monarch Butterflies?  We care about all insect pollinators because without them we would not have the fruits, vegetables and nuts, etc that we need to survive and Monarchs make up a large percentage of that group.


What can you do to help? The Monarchs depend specifically on Milkweed plants for laying eggs and sustaining the caterpillars when they hatch. It is the only plant they will eat so without milkweeds there would be no Monarchs.  Current farming methods and the desire for great expanses of residential lawns have eliminated huge areas where milkweeds can grow.  But you can help by planting milkweed in your perennial flower beds and any other space you have available.  The Common milkweed, Swamp milkweed and Butterfly milkweed are hardy in our area and equally good for Monarch food and nectar. The adult Monarchs collect nectar from many plants and trees so maintaining a variety of blooming perennials in your yard and garden is also helpful.


For addional information about the Monarch Butterfly, check the following websites:, and or books at the Saline District Library: Monarch magic! : butterfly activities & nature discoveries/Lynn Rosenblatt(ages 4-12),

How to raise monarch butterflies : a step-by-step guide for kids / Carol Pasternak,

The monarch butterfly / by Judith Pinkerton Josephson ; edited by Judy Lockwood

.monarch_butterfly    chrsyallis

Welcome to Our Parks!

Welcome to our parks! Come see the two gems of York Township, Sandra Richardson and Mary McCann Parks. Through the efforts of donations, grants, and volunteers, the two parks are a go to destination when you want to get away from the hectic daily life routine. One can walk through the woods on a sunny winter’s day and enjoy the sunshine peeking down through the trees. Enjoy a walk on a summer’s day, listening to the wind as it blows through the aspen or oaks or maples and see the bounty of birds that have made the parks their home. In the spring time and fall, watch area teams as they compete in the game of soccer. Come especially in the fall when the trees are displaying their beautiful fall colors for all to see. Talk a walk through the parks early in the morning and you might see a deer or other wildlife peeking at you through the brush.

The two parks offer different trails of scenic beauty on their own. Mary McCann Park offers scenic trails along with educational aspects of returning the land to its more natural growth through progressive plantings. Sandra Richardson offers many different aspects for one to see and explore. In both parks, one can catch a view of a prairie, filled with wild flowers in the summer, enjoy the quiet, restful environment of a deep woods walk, or explore the little more open areas and trails, all the while being outdoors and resting the soul.

Come see our parks! You’ll be pleasantly surprised.

York Township Parks Loses Stalwart Committee Member and Volunteer

On August 28, 2014, York Township lost a great friend of its parks when Donald Hasselbach passed away after a prolonged illness. Don was one of those unsung heroes who was better known for his work than for his bluster. It was easy to overlook Don.

Like those men of metal that were cast as integral parts of the toy tractors we played with as children, Don most often appeared as a fixture of the Ford, John Deere, Massey, or other tractor that perceptive park passers-by noted manicuring the trails or other grassy spaces in Sandra Richardson Park (SRP). They may also have made note of a red pick-up trailering one of those tractors over the roads between his home near SRP and Mary McCann Park on Warner Road, the township’s other park.

Don was the unofficial maintenance man for the parks. He fell into that role naturally after joining the Parks Committee in 2007 (?), when development work in MMP required rototilling small plots for wildflower gardens, spraying larger areas and then tilling and planting them to prairies and Pheasants Forever plots.

From that beginning, Don expanded his work to include any and every task that required a tractor and equipment of a certain size. And Don had every tractor and piece of equipment any park manager could wish for. Don was a collector…not only of the real items, but also of all manner of related farm and construction memorabilia , including the aforementioned toy replicas of his favorite mechanical devices.

Earlier in his long and varied life, he had had lots of experience with those machines. He was born on and grew up on a farm in what is now one of Detroit’s thriving western suburbs. And a good part of his working life was spent with the Wayne County Road Commission, where he brought his talents to bear on the state of the roads and rights-of-way.
The next time you pass by one of York Township’s parks — or better yet, take time to enjoy their natural settings with a leisurely stroll along their paths — take a moment to mentally pay tribute to a man you may not have known, but one who helped create the restful and beautiful place you are then enjoying.