Lake Michigan Preservation: In an amazing demonstration of how much the people of Michigan value their natural resources the Leelanau Conservancy just secured over half of the funding to purchase the breathtakingly beautiful and environmentally sensitive Clay Cliffs property that shares both Lake Michigan and North Lake Leelanau shorelines in Leelanau County, not far from Traverse City, one of Michigan's fastest growing population centers. The Leelanau Conservancy's Carolyn Faught tells us more:

The spectacular Clay Cliffs property, with its 1,700 feet of shoreline on both Lake Michigan and North Lake Leelanau, is two steps closer to becoming a public natural area. Partners in the project, the Leelanau Conservancy and Leland Township, received two pieces of good news recently: 1) Today the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund awarded $2.9 million to the Township for the $6.2 million project; and, 2) the Carls Foundation awarded the Leelanau Conservancy a $1 million challenge grant to support natural land protection in high-priority areas of the Peninsula. In the coming year, $250,000 of this grant may be applied to help spur gifts to the Clay Cliffs project.

“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity to preserve this shoreline while also giving the citizens of Leelanau and everyone who visits the chance to experience one of the most beautiful places on our peninsula,” says Conservancy Director Brian Price. “We still have work to do to raise the final $1.8 million needed for the required local match to the Trust Fund grant. But with the Trust Fund committed, and the Carls grant providing a dollar-for-dollar challenge to private donors, we know we can raise the funds necessary to protect this truly unique property and create an incredible natural area. We’re grateful to the Trust Fund Board and to the Carls Foundation for their help. We are also grateful to Rachel Crary, the property owner, for agreeing to donate 25% of the land’s value.”  Read more about this incredible project and today's exciting news here. If you would like to make a donation to help us complete this project, go here: Together, we are making a difference!

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Photo(s) by Leelanau Conservancy