The Little Traverse Conservancy of Harbor Springs is celebrating the passage of a milestone, recently exceeding 40,000 acres of land protected since its formation. These protected lands include all of the nature preserves, private properties with conservation easements, and assist projects in which the Conservancy was primarily involved. The numbers add up to the tangible, visible difference that Conservancy supporters have made in the organization’s five-county region of Charlevoix, Cheboygan, Emmet, Mackinac, and Chippewa counties.

“The board and staff are grateful for the trust of our supporters as we continue to seek a balance between land developed for human use and land that has been permanently set aside in its natural state,” said Tom Bailey, executive director for the organization since 1984.  “As much as this work has been done for those of us here today, this organization is also paying it forward for those who are yet to come.”

Little Traverse Conservancy has been either the primary participant or one of the primary partners in the protection of many beloved properties that are now open and available for public enjoyment. A sampling of these places include North Point in Charlevoix, Sturgeon Bay in northern Emmet County, the Andreae Preserve along the Pigeon River, the Birge Preserve on Lake Huron near Hessel, and Round Island Point Preserve on Lake Superior roughly ½ hour from Sault Ste. Marie. More than 18,500 acres of land are held in private ownership but protected from future development with conservation easements that are upheld through the Conservancy through perpetuity. The Conservancy actively partners with local units of government and the State of Michigan to secure and protect high priority lands.

In addition to its land protection and the long-term care of protected properties through stewardship, Little Traverse Conservancy is one of the only land trusts in the country with a formal environmental education program geared towards school-aged children. Each year, more than 6,000 children from preschool to high school participate in a naturalist-guided program that is offered at no charge, thanks to donor support.

The Conservancy provides maps of its protected areas at no charge. Just call 231.347.0991 to get a copy or visit the organization online at where all of its publications can be found.

Since 1972, the Little Traverse Conservancy has been working as the oldest regional, non-profit land trust in Michigan. With the support of more than 4,100 members, the Little Traverse Conservancy works with private landowners and units of local government to permanently protect ecologically significant and scenic lands from development. Since it was founded, more than 40,000 acres and 103 miles of shoreline along our region’s lakes, rivers, and streams have been set aside to remain in their natural state within Charlevoix, Cheboygan, Emmet, Mackinac, and Chippewa counties. In addition, more than 6,000 young people participate in a Conservancy environmental education outing every year. For more information about the Little Traverse Conservancy and land protection options for your land, please contact their office at 231.347.0991 or visit