Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital pushes forward with deforestation for expansion

Expansion will be for behavioral health

The process of cutting down acres of trees in West Bloomfield Township has begun despite the opposition of some living nearby. It's happening just south of Maple Road near Henry Ford West Bloomfield Hospital, which is expanding to add a new mental health facility.

WEST BLOOMFIELD TOWNSHIP, Mich. – The tree-cutting process has already started to create room for the expansion of a Henry Ford Health hospital in West Bloomfield Township.

Tony Spokojny said he’s one of many against the forest near his home being cut down to make way for the expansion of the hospital. The building is being expanded for behavioral health.

“Our neighbors homes are enhanced by these trees. I feel like I’m losing friends. I feel that all our efforts to preserve to allow these things to grow to grow naturally,” Spokojny said.

The 18 acres of trees is believed to be at least 100 years old. Spokojny is actually the former chair for the township’s environmental commission who resigned as a form of protest. He said back in 1979, he tried to prevent this from happening with an ordinance.

“We allowed for 25% taking of trees. And in this case, Henry Ford speaking 60%. I’ve seen you’ve really done my best my utmost to help protect these woods,” Spokojny said.

Spokojny said the hospital could have taken other measures too. He said he mainly blames the township.

“They could have stepped in and I could have approached Henry Ford. I could have said, ‘We really have a problem here. You’re knocking down a stand of trees described by our forester to be the most valuable stand of trees at Southeastern Michigan,’” Spokojny said.

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West Bloomfield Township officials sent over the following statement which, in part, reads:

“The Planning Commission took into consideration the Environmental Commission’s recommendation; however, ultimately determined the project met the requirements for approval on November 23, 2021.”

Henry Ford Health sent the following statement, which, in part, reads:

“The need for mental health services has reached crisis levels across our nation. When we acquired the land in the 1980′s we committed to being good neighbors and mindful stewards of the land. Our newest development meets all state environmental regulations, and of the 40 acres rezoned for this project, we are only using 15.”

About the Authors:

Victor Williams joined Local 4 News in October of 2019 after working for WOIO in Cleveland, OH, WLOX News in Biloxi, MS, and WBBJ in Jackson, TN. Victor developed a love for journalism after realizing he was a great speaker and writer at an early age.

Kayla is a Web Producer for ClickOnDetroit. Before she joined the team in 2018 she worked at WILX in Lansing as a digital producer.