The new Staebler Farm County Park will celebrate its grand opening this Saturday, Oct. 12 – as will the Michigan Folk School, a nonprofit school for traditional arts and crafts, which will call the park home.
The public can visit the new campus at 7734 Plymouth Rd. in Superior Township to see craft artists, a vintage string band, and trails throughout the park.
"This is a way for people to come and learn what the park and school have been doing," says Jason Gold, Michigan Folk School co-founder.
The folk school began hosting woodworking and craft classes at the new location in January. Since then, Staebler Farm County Park has added trails and the school has made progress on constructing its planned glassblowing and blacksmith studios.
Gold says the blacksmith studio proved to be more complicated than anticipated.
"In 40 years, no one has applied to open a blacksmith studio, so it took a long time to get everyone in a comfortable spot to get a four-season climate-controlled studio," Gold says.
Additional construction for the blacksmith studio's air filtration system and chimney still needs to be completed. Gold anticipates the first blacksmithing class in the new building will be offered in November.
The folk school also has plans to build a multi-purpose studio and glassblowing studio. The multi-purpose building is set to begin construction this coming spring.
Other upcoming classes at the Michigan Folk School include sessions on making a macrame hammock and converting a traditional bike into an electric bike. Gold says the folk school is eager to meet the public's interests in its course offerings.
"When you abbreviate Michigan (as MI) in our name, it's like you're saying it's my folk school," Gold says. "That's the outlook we want the community to have. It's their school."
The grand opening celebration will be held on Oct. 12 from 1-3 p.m., with a ribbon cutting at 1:30 p.m.
Emily Benda is a freelance writer based in Ann Arbor. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Photo courtesy of Michigan Folk School.