The Historic District Commission promotes Cranberry Lake Farm for enjoyment and education through voter approved preservation millage funds, which includes the maintenance, operations, and development of Cranberry Lake Farm as a community historical center. Come out and enjoy!
The next regular HDC meeting is on Wednesday, February 16, 2022 at 7:00 PM. Meetings are held at Oakland Township Hall, 4393 Collins Rd, Rochester MI. For further information, please contact Barbara Barber, Preservation Planner, at the office number 248-608-6807 or  

The Historic District Commission normally meets the third Wednesday of the month in the Township Hall board room unless otherwise stated on the public agenda. 
The Historic District Commission Agendas, online Meeting Packet, and Meeting Minutes can now be viewed at the eCode360 website.   For the Meeting packet, please open the link called Misc. Documents. 

Gypsy Moth Lymantria dispar populations explode in Michigan

The gypsy moth (Lymantria dispar) is a foreign pest with few native predators to keep populations in check here in the United States. It was introduced to Massachusetts in 1869 and has spread across the much of the northeast. Gypsy moth outbreaks began to occur in the lower peninsula of Michigan in the mid-1980’s. Caterpillars feed on tree leaves, preferring those of oak, aspen, poplar, and birch but will feed on over 500 types plants throughout the summer. Large populations can defoliate entire wooded areas. Caterpillars in large numbers (and their waste, frass) are a nuisance in residential areas. Gypsy moths cannot be eradicated, but they can be suppressed to tolerable levels.

What are the goals of suppressing them?

  • Reduce high caterpillar populations to tolerable levels
  • Reduce tree loss by preserving at least 60% tree foliage, to reduce stress on trees
  • Prevent indiscriminate use of chemical controls
  • Provide educational information

How are gypsy moth populations suppressed?

The main defense is an aerial application of Bacillus thuringiensis var. kurstaki (Btk), used to reduce high populations of gypsy moth caterpillars at sites that meet certain guidelines for treatment. Btk is a naturally occurring bacterium found in the soil and is not harmful to pets, birds, fish, plants, beneficial insects, or humans. Btk specifically targets only caterpillars of a certain age. It is applied when the caterpillars are young (usually in May) to ensure the greatest impact in reducing numbers. Alternative mechanical techniques, such as tree banding, egg mass scraping, and hormone traps to help reduce populations.

What is the gypsy moth life cycle?

The gypsy moth life cycle has four main stages: egg, caterpillar, pupae, and moth.

Egg stage

In mid-August, after mating with the male moths, the females lay their eggs in masses. Egg masses are generally firm, oval shaped, about the size of a quarter, and buff or tan colored. Egg masses are laid on any surface, such as tree bark, rocks, woodpiles, decks, buildings, and outdoor equipment. Since gypsy moths complete only one life cycle per year, eggs laid in mid-August do not hatch until spring.


The eggs hatch into caterpillars late April or early May. Hatch date is directly affected by weather. The colder the spring, the later the eggs hatch. A healthy egg mass can hold 1000 eggs, although the average is probably between 300 and 500. Once the eggs hatch, the caterpillars will remain on the egg mass for a few days before they leave to feed. In its short lifetime, a caterpillar can eat one square meter of leaves. Mature caterpillars are about 2” in length with long hairs grouped in bundles. They have 5 pairs of blue dots and 6 pairs of red dots running down their backs. Their heads are black with yellow markings.


In mid-July to mid-August, mature caterpillars stop feeding and weave silk around their bodies to form a hard, brown shell or cocoon. In this pupa stage, caterpillars start their metamorphosis or change into the moth stage of the life cycle. This process takes about two weeks.


Moths, the adult stage of the life cycle, emerge from the pupal cases in mid-August. The moths do not eat, and they live only for a week. Female moths have white wings with brown chevron or ‘V-shaped’ markings and do not fly. Male moths have smaller brown wings and can fly. Attracted to a pheromone emitted by the female, the males can fertilize several females before dying. Female moths lay egg masses that remain dormant until spring.

How do gypsy moths travel?

Caterpillars hang in trees on a silk strand and can be carried a great distance by the wind. Humans also move egg masses or pupal cases on travel trailers, firewood, cars, etc. Make sure you do not give the gypsy moth a ride.

How do I know if I have gypsy moth?      

Several MSU Extension bulletins can help you identify the gypsy moth and caterpillar.

What does gypsy moth damage look like?

Gypsy moth caterpillars feed on tree leaves creating ‘swiss cheese’ type holes. They do not cause pre-mature leaf drop, browning, or curling of leaves. They do not make a web or tent in trees. In addition to damage to the trees, gypsy moth caterpillars can be a nuisance if populations are high enough. Caterpillars and their frass (feces) can drop down from trees on to sidewalks, driveways, yards, porches, and vehicles. The hairs on the caterpillars can cause irritation or an allergic reaction to bare skin. Frass can stain surfaces, especially if it is rained on or becomes wet.

What happens when trees are defoliated?

Trees defoliated more than 40% become stressed by using next year’s energy reserves to grow new leaves during the same season. Healthy trees may withstand several years of defoliation. Evergreens are unable to replace their needles and may die when defoliated. Keep trees watered and fertilized to reduce any stress.

For more information:

Thank you all for coming to the Down on the Farm and everyone's help in running this farm day event. We had a fantastic turn-out and couldn't do it without all the  many volunteers and exhibitors that share their talents!
("Eyore" enjoyed all the grooming too!)
Elbie Down Farm FB 
HDC Budget FY 2021-2025

Revised Site Aerial Map db - Copy 

(Click here to see map in FOCUS.)

Drone Video of Cranberry Lake Farm soon!

Link to the conceptual landscape master plan for Cranberry Lake Farm Historic District.  We are VERY EXCITED about the ideas. Funding for the landscape architect Brian Devlin, RLA, Nagy Devlin 

Sq Dance barn photo boy

Land Design is provided by the National Trust for Historic Preservation Michigan Preservation Funds. 

Link to HDC Newsletter Pages! Read all about the activities!
A very special ceremony was held at Cranberry Lake Farm Historic District on the main house porch!  Go to our user permits to see more of the special photos and how you may reserve the site for your special gathering. Rental pricing and application is located in the left hand column under User Permits and Fees. Thank you!      

Photo credits to Brett Loie.
wedding main house porch

The HDC office is located in the second floor of the Paint Creek Mill Building, 4480 Orion Road.  HDC office hours normally from 8 am to 4:30 PM. However, due to working in the field and/or evening meetings, hours may be adjusted.  Please feel free to stop in during those hours, or call to confirm an appointment if you wish to speak with Barbara. Thank you.

"It has been said that, at its best, preservation engages the past in a conversation with the present over a mutual concern for the future." William J. Murtagh, Keeping Time: The History and Theory of Preservation in America

Mission StatementCranberry Lake Farm Historic District Main House

The mission of the Charter Township of Oakland Historic District Commission is to promote and preserve the rich heritage of our township by safeguarding its historical resources. This is accomplished through the following:
  • Cultivating an appreciation for the heritage of Oakland Township.
  • Educating our residents about the value of preserving the buildings, structures and areas that have contributed to this heritage.
  • Encouraging the listing of new resources so that future generations can benefit from them.
  • Administering the Charter Township of Oakland’s Historic District Ordinance, Ordinance 37A.
  • Collaborating with other commissions and groups that have a mutual interest in preserving our Township’s heritage.


Chairperson:  David A. Phillips (term expires 5/24)
Vice Chair:  Robert Bowen (term expires 5/24)
Secretary:  John Sanderson (term expires 5/22)

Commissioners: Ron Bargy (term expires 5/24) Col. Mark Gerhard (term expires 5/23) Pete Jarzyna (term expires 5/22)
Trustee Rep: Lana Mangiapane (Term Expires 5/23)

Historic District Commissioners are appointed by the Board of Trustees and serve three-year terms.

Some Fun Events photos: