There is a unique community feeling in Hartland, which some say is the direct result of the Hartland Area Project, a social experiment of the 1930s. The project was led by philanthropist J. Robert Crouse Sr, who wanted to give the then-rural community the same kind of cultural, educational and wealth-generating opportunities found in cities.
The project touched every aspect of life in Hartland. It helped the community through the Depression and World War II. It consolidated its schools. It established a newspaper — Community Life — that continues publishing to this day, as well as a library, recreational facilities and a music program.
Today, as testament to Crouse’s vision, is the Hartland Music Hall, Cromaine Library, Waldenwoods recreation area, and the award-winning Hartland Consolidated School District. The Florence B. Dearing Museum chronicles life in the community.
There are over 400 lakes in the area, as well as a beautifully rolling countryside and state-owned recreational game areas. The popular Kensington Metropark, a sprawling 1,800 acres in the community’s southwest corner, boasts a plethora of recreational activities, including a golf course, boat launch, walking trails, restaurant and nature center.
For all its rural character, the community is home to some pretty modern conveniences, including shopping centers along M-59 and Old U.S. 23, as well as Michigan’s first single point urban interchange, or SPUI, which keeps traffic at the intersection of M-59 and U.S. 23 moving efficiently.
Thriving farmers and flea markets are open May through October, and the popular Hartland Community Players affords opportunities to residents, including its youngest members through the Encore Youth Theatre.
The community’s rich cultural life, its easy-commuting location, and its successful melding of the old and new, make Hartland a popular place to live.
Hartland Patch (online news resource)
Hartland Consolidated Schools
Hartland Community Ed
Hartland Area Chamber of Commerce
Hartland Area Youth Athletic Association
Cromaine District Library
Hartland Deerfield Fire Authority
Hartland Senior Center