The iconic farmhouse at Maple Bay is a highly visible and inviting destination along the very busy U.S. 31 corridor. This turn-of-the-century treasure was for years surrounded by dairy cattle and frolicking painted ponies, but now it’s perhaps best associated with the thousands of bright yellow sunflowers planted nearby and an increasingly popular natural area that shares the same driveway.
GTRLC acquired this farmhouse and a few surrounding acres during protection of the Maple Bay Natural Area in 2001. We’ve used it for various events over the years, but have not maintained any offices or regular presence there. Now, we hope to use this wonderful and historic setting for a variety of public outreach activities to raise awareness and increase our visibility in the community.
We have nearly completed a renovation that will allowed us to turn the house into a field office to better serve the northern portion of our five-county service area. In addition to an ADA-compliant public restroom and offices that can now be used as satellite space by GTRLC staff, the new design also includes a conference room ideal for community meetings and interfacing with volunteers, donors and stakeholders. We’re also excited about the opportunity to better interact with the increasingly large number of people that drive right by the now-closed farmhouse on their way to the natural area.