The Little Traverse Conservancy had one of its most successful land protection years ever in its 40-year history in 2012. All told, these projects protected more than 5,200 acres of land and 9.3 miles of shoreline on streams, rivers, and lakes throughout the Conservancy’s five-county service area.?
Land Protection Highlights
- In partnership with the State of Michigan, 3,810 acres of Northern Michigan land with nearly two miles of Lake Superior shoreline were purchased to be added to state forest. Rated the number three priority in the nation for the federal Forest Legacy Program, Crisp Point straddles Chippewa and Luce counties and is one of the most significant land protection projects ever completed with Conservancy assistance.
- In eastern Chippewa County near De Tour Village, Bradley Foster donated the 120-acre James V. Foster Nature Preserve. The preserve includes the nearly 25-acre Hartley Lake.
- On Beaver Island, a 173-acre parcel that had previously been protected with a conservation easement by the landowner was donated by the Scully family as an addition to the Barney’s Lake Nature Preserve. The new preserve includes more than half a mile of Lake Michigan frontage.
- In Cheboygan County, another property previously protected with a conservation easement was donated to LTC as a nature preserve. The 110-acre Reed’s Pigeon River Nature Preserve lies along a mile of Pigeon River shoreline.
- In Emmet County, a 148-acre parcel was donated by June and Scott Hymas. The land will be known as the Hymas Woods Nature Preserve and includes a quarter mile of creek frontage.
- A nearly 100-acre addition to the Aldo Leopold Nature Preserve on Marquette Island, Les Cheneauxs, was purchased for protection with funding from the J.A. Woollam Foundation and the Les Cheneaux Foundation.
Land Stewardship Highlights
- In 2012, more than a dozen organized work days were held on Little Traverse Conservancy nature preserves in addition to numerous work days completed by scouts, church groups, and other volunteer efforts. The Conservancy currently uses more than 200 volunteers to assist with various office and field opportunities.
- The Conservancy became a primary partner in a local initiative of the national American Kestrel Nesting Box Program. By the end of 2012, 20 boxes had been placed at nature preserves and privately protected properties around Emmet, Cheboygan, and Charlevoix counties.
- A new parking area and trails were configured at the Little Sand Bay Preserve on Beaver Island.
- A new parking area and short access trail to the River were constructed at the Philip Braun Preserve located in the Pellston village limits.
- New boardwalk and trail improvements connected the Banwell and Andreae nature preserves with more than five miles of trails now available between the two preserves.
- The new Wisser-Saworski Nature Preserve just outside of Boyne Falls was donated during 2012 and, thanks to a stewardship endowment, a new parking area and trail improvements were completed last year. An overlook platform is planned for 2013.
- A new parking lot and connector trails were constructed along Clute Road near Boyne City to provide better parking options at The Hill Nature Preserve.
- Little Traverse Conservancy’s FREE Nature Preserve Smart Phone App was released in late 2012 and has been very well received. With this app, a user has access to maps and useful information about nature preserves located throughout the service area or near where they are currently located.
- A total of 263 conservation easements on privately-owned land were monitored throughout the 5-county service area in 2012. A conservation easement is a voluntary agreement that allows a landowner to limit the type or amount of development on their property while retaining private ownership of the land. The Conservancy accepts the easement with understanding that it must enforce the terms of the easement in perpetuity. After the easement is signed, it is recorded with the County Register of Deeds and applies to all future owners of the land. The land is not open to the public.
Environmental Education Highlights
- In 2012, more than 4,300 students or children participated in a Conservancy-led environmental education outing or program.
- LTC is a primary partner with the local initiative Getting Kids Outdoors Emmet County (GKO). Last spring, GKO held a successful Spring Kick-Off event with more than 300 attendees on April 28 launching the new Passport to Adventure to the community. The Passport was redesigned and made available on the GKO website, at the Conservancy office, and various other locations.
- A total of 39 programs were offered for ages 3-12 during Summer 2012.