Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy is on a mission to save sanctuaries including Finch Creek. To help support the progress of this project, GTRLC needs an additional $150,000 in public donations to protect Northern Michigan birds, plants, animals and clean water. Learn how you can support this project and additional Northern Michigan nonprofits featured in our 2021 GIVE issue.

There are no cheerful welcome signs here; no parking, bathrooms, visitor’s center or tidy boardwalks. Just the rustle of the wind through fern fronds and the call-and-response of birdsong in the cedars. In the distance, the waters of Finch and Crow creeks chatter over river rock and around gnarled tree roots. It feels wild and undisturbed, as it has been for thousands of years. And if the public can help Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy (GTRLC) see their vision through, it will remain so forever. Finch Creek, a small but mighty 56 acres, is the last sanctuary property GTRLC is working to secure as a part of their incredible six-year campaign to preserve vast swatches of open space, farmland, waterfront and critical habitat. “Sanctuaries are different from preserves, and specifically are properties not conducive to intensive public use, but they are extremely important to protecting the quality of life that we love about Up North,” explains Jennifer Jay, director of communications and engagement for GTRLC.

Sanctuaries are identified as being essential for protecting water quality, plant and animal biodiversity, habitat continuity and critical wetlands. Jay describes them as foundational—the behind-the-scenes properties that help support the public preserves we’re more familiar with. The Finch Creek property, for example, with its 2,400 feet of creek frontage, supports bird, plant and animal life, clean water and view corridors for nearby Grass River Natural Area. It is an example of GTRLC’s commitment to preserving sanctuaries today and into the future. To protect Finch Creek forever, GTRLC needs an additional $150,000 in funding from public donations. “These smaller, less-visible properties might not be as ‘sexy,’” Jay admits, “but right now, development is happening where it shouldn’t, and it’s an emotional experience for some people to even know that such sanctuaries exist—to know that these wild places are sacred and will never change.”
To donate, visit the Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy website, click the “donate” button and then “support a project” to be a part of the preservation of Finch Creek Nature Sanctuary.

This Article Was First Featured in Northern Michigan GIVE 2021

Read more Northern Michigan nonprofit stories and learn how to donate and volunteer in the free edition of MyNorth GIVE 2021. You can also preview and purchase our digital issues Traverse, Northern Michigan’s Magazine or subscribe and get Traverse delivered to your door each month.

Northern Michigan GIVE 2021 by MyNorth

Photo(s) by Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy