Long Lake Township Partners with Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy To Purchase Former Girl Scout Camp

December 5, 2012

Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund Approves $2 Million Grant for Timbers Recreation Area

TRAVERSE CITY, MI – On December 5th, 2012, the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund Board of Trustees recommended that 22 competitive land acquisition projects totaling over $14 million be funded statewide. The purpose of the Trust Fund is to assist local municipalities and the State in preserving and protecting Michigan’s natural resources through the purchase and improvement of public parks and recreation lands. The Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy successfully assisted Long Lake Township in securing $2,073,000 – the third-largest grant awarded in this application cycle – for the purchase of the Timbers Recreation Area, formerly the Timbers Girl Scout Camp. The Conservancy will now begin securing donations for the remaining funds needed: $891,300 must be raised by June, 2014.

The Timbers Recreation Area will provide residents and visitors an opportunity to enjoy the Long Lake waterfront in a natural setting. It will also provide other options for recreation: fishing, hiking, kite-flying, wildlife viewing, and more. It will be ideal for families or groups who want to spend the day at a single destination, but would like to enjoy more than one activity.

No public property exists within Long Lake Township—or anywhere else that can be accessed so quickly and easily from Traverse City—that offers the variety of inland lake access, habitat diversity, and recreational opportunities found at the Timers Recreation Area. The property boasts nearly 9,000 feet of water frontage with 2,000 feet of frontage on Long Lake, an entire 20-acre lake within its boundary – Fern Lake – with 4,500 feet of shoreline, and roughly 2,400 feet on Page Lake. The balance of the property is a combination of mesic northern hardwood forest, fields and riparian wetlands. The property has a network of two-tracks and trails throughout, and ample acreage with great potential for further trail development. Its 50-year history as an active Girl Scout camp demonstrates that the property can support active recreational use while minimizing impact to its natural features. Development of the property’s management plan and management activities, including decisions regarding existing structures on the property, additional trail development and invasive species removal, will all be undertaken with the assistance of the Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy.

Long Lake Township Supervisor Karen Rosa reflected on the significance of the grant and the property: “The Long Lake Township Board, along with its residents, seasonal visitors, and its many recreation committee volunteers, is thrilled to receive this financial assistance from the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund for the acquisition of the Timbers Girl Scout property. This is a very special property with incredible conservation, recreational, and sentimental value. The Timbers Recreation Area will be a treasured asset for the whole region and the many visitors to our area for many years to come. This acquisition is only possible through the generous support and dedication of several individuals and volunteers, and especially the perseverance and resourcefulness of the staff of the Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy.”

The Conservancy will host public snowshoe hikes on January 19th and February 16th to provide an early glimpse of this unique property. For details and to RSVP, visit their website at www.gtrlc.org/recreation-events/events/ or call 231-929-7911.

 

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