Former Antrim County resident makes Mancelona Township land donation

Linda Gallagher

MANCELONA — Christmas came early this year for the Antrim Conservation District when a former Antrim County resident donated a parcel of undeveloped land in Mancelona Township. 

The 40 acres of land, which holds 30 acres of mature red pine planted by Herb and Florence Riley in the 1950s, had been in the hands of the Jabara family since the 1940s, according to donor Abdeen Jabara, who grew up in Antrim County but now resides in New York City, where he is an active civil rights attorney. 

Of the property, which is open to the public, Jabara said, "The red pines, which are some of the first Herb and Florence every planted with a tractor, will be thinned as needed for good forest management and may eventually be useful for utility poles.  It's a nice piece of property that will be a good place to go for a hike or do some cross-country skiing on that will bring in a small income for the Conservation District."

The land, which once held 10 acres of non-native Scotch Pine which has been removed, was purchased from the railroad and was owned by other members of the Jabara family for many years before he acquired it, said Jabara, who also owns a summer cabin on the Cedar River in Kearney Township that he tries to visit regularly. 

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