A wise man once said, "to play golf is to spoil an otherwise enjoyable walk." 

Thanks to Blandford Nature Center, you'll soon be able to walk the grounds of the Highlands Golf Course without having to be bothered by that pesky golf thing.

Blandford announced today that they have signed a deal to restore the public Highlands Golf Course to nature, a deal that will have a significant impact for the West Side neighborhood where Highlands sits.

According to MiBiz.com, the Nature Center paid 3.5 million dollars for the 121 acre property which is located at 2715 W. Leonard NW west of Oakleigh Road. The land butts up against Blandford's current nature reserve.

The deal was financed in part by the The Conservation Fund, a national non-profit that helps preserve natural resources.

Google Maps

“This came out of the blue for us,” Jason Meyer, the president and CEO of Blandford told MiBiz. “It’s literally a once in forever opportunity for Blandford. Where else can we have 121 acres adjacent to us?”

Plans were in the work to develop the land by building condominiums and homes, but when that failed to pan out, the developer offered the land to Blandford.

While West Side neighbors to the parcel were not totally against the idea of having housing developed on the land, the news that Blandford would turn it back to nature was welcome news.

Highlands Golf Course/Facebook

“The big thing is that it was an opportunity that would never come along again,” Brad Rosely of Third Coast Development told MiBiz. “Developments come and go, but this will be there forever. Once we talked with Blandford, it just seemed to be the best thing for the community.”

The space, once converted, will be open for public use.

The acquisition is part of an $11-million expansion project for the Blandford Nature Center, which will include a new visitor center. The non-profit Center hosts community events and education projects year round.