At two points in GTRLC’s history, periods of extraordinary need necessitated campaigns in which fundraising and land protection were accelerated far beyond their normal pace:
The Coastal Campaign
GTRLC’s first major campaign, launched in 2003 and was largely complete by 2005. This monumental effort ultimately protected more than 6,000 acres of premium dune, farm and forest land along the Lake Michigan coast in Benzie and Manistee counties. Created as part of this campaign were Arcadia Dunes: The C.S. Mott Preserve (named for the Flint-based Charles Stewart Mott Foundation’s key role in the campaign) and Green Point Dunes, two tremendously popular and ecologically significant GTRLC-owned nature preserves. For the story of this effort, read the Coastal Campaign chapter in our 25th anniversary publication: Love the Land: Pass it on.
The Campaign for Generations
Launched in 2015 and concluded in 2021, this effort protected more than 7,500 additional acres of land across our five-county service area of land and 26 miles of undeveloped shoreline on our rivers, lakes and streams. Nearly 90 projects were completed as part of this effort, including more than 20 new nature preserves, parks and natural areas. In addition, more than 30 new miles of trail were built. Because a key component of the campaign was access to nature, several Universal Access (UA) projects were also included, allowing people of all ages and abilities to immerse themselves in the wonders of the outdoors. Aside from its focus on land protection and access, the Campaign for Generations also greatly increased the Conservancy’s ability to care for protected lands by endowing stewardship activities on many protected lands.
To read much more about this campaign, check out our The Story of the Campaign for Generations publication.