Here’s a chance to sit back and enjoy the spectacular farmland preserved by The Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy, a non-profit organization in Traverse City committed protecting significant natural, scenic, and farmlands. The GTRLC has worked with Peninsula Township to complete farmland preservation projects, resulting in over 5,000 acres of permanently protected farmland on the Old Mission Peninsula. This represents more than half of the land identified for permanent protection in the Township’s Agricultural Preserve Zone.
Agriculture is a critical component of Michigan’s, and Northern Michigan’s, economy. THE GTRLC recognizes that this region’s unique micro-climate provided by Lake Michigan and the very large inland lakes, coupled with the unique soils and slopes of our glacial topography, are unlike any other fruit-growing region on earth. However, the same resources that make our region unique – namely our proximity to Lake Michigan, our inland lakes and streams and rolling topography – also call out to retirees, second home vacationers, and urban dwellers looking for an increase in their quality of life. The American Farmland Trust has identified the West Michigan Fruit and Truck Belt region in Northwest Lower Michigan as one of the 20 most threatened national farmland resources in the country.
Protecting significant lands and high quality waters preserves not only our agricultural and tourism economy, but the very attributes that make northern Michigan, and the state, such a great place to live, work, and play. In addition to the economic benefits of working farms, these lands contribute environmental and social benefits which include community food security, a sense of place, and a spirit of rural heritage and character. Well-managed farmland provides food and cover for wildlife, helps control flooding, and protects wetlands and watersheds. When converted to energy, some crops even have the potential to replace fossil fuels. Well-managed natural lands provide similar benefits. These undeveloped lands limit and control water and air pollution, decrease the risk of flooding, and protect groundwater, in addition to countless other biological services.
Want to help in the preservation of this one-of-a-kind, critical resource for Northern Michigan and the state as a whole? Here’s how.