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At the University of Michigan School for Environment and Sustainability (SEAS), we are at the forefront of building a more sustainable and just world for all by transforming the impact of higher education and reimagining the future. We are advancing action through innovation, research, education and engagement in society, and developing leaders who are empowered to halt the climate crisis and create an environmentally sound future for generations to come.

Ringwood Forest

43.2661, -84.1894
13710 Ring Rd, St Charles Brant Township MI 48655 US
Site Overview: 
Ringwood Forest is surrounded mostly by wooded and agricultural land. The forest within the property includes young and old plantations of confers and hardwoods, second-growth hardwoods stands, and both upland and floodplain forests. The conifers in the red and white pine plantations and “Historic Spruce Alley” (Norway spruce) planted in the late 1800s are of historical significance—they are thought to be some of the oldest plantations in the state. Other species found in upland areas include Chamaecyparis thyoides, Larix laricina, Pinus banksiana, Populus temuloides, Pseudotsuga menziessi, and Robinia pseudoacacia. Bottomland species include Acer rubrum, Fraxinus nigra, Populus deltoids and Quercus bicolor. The South Fork of Bad River flows over 3,300 feet through the forest and is between 30-50 feet wide. The Bad River is a 44.3-mile-long river that begins in Gratiot County and empties into the Shiawassee River in Saginaw County within the bounds of the Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge. The Bad River watershed is almost 90% agricultural and is a part of sediment reduction programs to ultimately protect the Saginaw Bay and Lake Huron.
Site History: 

Ringwood Forest was originally part of the great pine forests of Michigan. The pines were logged on this site in 1862 by Eleazer Ring. Fires followed the logging and most of the land remained open for farming after the fires. In 1883 red and white pine were planted on the south side of the Bad River and a Norway spruce alley near the entrance to the property. In 1920 the Ford Motor Company purchased the hardwoods and clear-cut the timber. The land was presented to the University of Michigan in 1930 by Clark Ring for use related to forestry research, demonstration, and education. From 1930-1941, SNRE conducted an extensive planting program on the property which consisted of primarily pine. Fire lanes were also developed. From 1930-1950 several timber sales took place. Since the mid 1950’s management of this site has been less extensive. In 1983 the University of Michigan entered into an agreement with Saginaw County Parks and Recreation Commission that allowed Ringwood Forest to be used by the Commission for public forestry education and recreation. The park opened to the public in 1987.