The Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy (GTRLC) was recently honored by Pure Michigan for their “Campaign for Generations,” a six-year, $71.4 million campaign encompassing 29 protection and parkland sites across five Northern Michigan counties. The program aims to boost the conservancy’s ability to steward protected lands well into the future.

GTRLC received the honor at the Pure Michigan Governor’s Conference on Tourism in February. The Pure Award recognizes Michigan tourism entities that demonstrate innovative and exemplary best practices in natural, cultural and/or heritage stewardship.

“We are honored to have been selected for the 2020 Pure Award,” says Jennifer Jay, GTRLC’s director of communications and engagement. “No matter what activities people enjoy in Pure Michigan—from mountain bike riding to birdwatching, from kayaking to cross country skiing—protecting the land base and our freshwater resources means these will be available now and for future generations to enjoy.”

To date, 22 of GTRLC’s 29 slated projects have been funded by the $70 million raised thus far by the campaign.

“The Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy launched a big, bold effort to protect some of the finest remaining natural lands and farmlands in our region,” says Jay. “So far, we’ve protected more than 5,000 acres of land and over 15 miles of shoreline. We’re also incredibly proud to have built universally accessible trails in four preserves or natural areas, because having lifelong access to nature is important to our community’s health and wellbeing.”

Traverse City Tourism nominated GTRLC and the Campaign for Generations for the 2020 Pure Award. TC Tourism officials said the nomination was inspired by GTRLC’s commitment to sustainability and stewardship, which makes Northern Michigan a beautiful place to live and work and also cements the area as a destination for ecotourism.

“The conservancy is an essential part of what makes the Grand Traverse region unique,” says Trevor Tkach, president/CEO of Traverse City Tourism. “Protecting the diversity of our land is important work for the region, and we’re thrilled to see GTRLC honored with this well-deserved award. Their sustainable land preservation efforts allow locals and travelers alike to explore the natural spaces of Northern Michigan.”

For nearly three decades, the Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy has protected and cared for the region’s natural, scenic, farm and forest lands. With the support of individual donors, foundations and volunteers, and the partnership of local, state and federal agencies, they have protected nearly 44,000 acres of land and 140 miles of shoreline along the region’s exceptional rivers, lakes and streams. Fully accredited by the Land Trust Alliance, the Conservancy is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization whose service area includes Antrim, Benzie, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska and Manistee Counties.

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