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*The current fundraising goal for this project may be impacted by several factors that have yet to be determined. As details are finalized, the total funding needed may change.

Recently, a 35-acre property, owned by Elberta Land Holding Company, was targeted for a large resort development that would have irreparably altered Elberta’s small-town character. This stunning land extends from Elberta Beach to the Historic Waterfront Park and from the park to the village’s northern edge. It features 578 feet of Lake Michigan frontage, 3,120 feet on Betsie Bay, and 10 acres of steep, forested dunes. Luckily, this proposal was withdrawn, partly in response to local opposition. However, many citizens feel it’s only a matter of time before another, similar offer is made. The only way to keep them from having to endlessly fight for the character of their community is to protect this land in perpetuity.

The Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy (GTRLC) and our partners have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to accomplish this feat. We have a plan to ensure the Village of Elberta shoreline remains one of Michigan’s most beautiful stretches of globally unique coast while achieving other recreational and economic goals. Protection of this land will contribute to a thriving future—and preserve quality of life—for this community. But, we need your help, and time is of the essence.

The Conservancy has entered into a purchase agreement for the property that will expire on December 15, 2024. We must raise $19.5 million to purchase the land. If we are successful with fundraising for the acquisition, we will work to raise an additional $8 million (approximately) to execute the vision detailed below:

    GTRLC will retain 10 acres of the highest conservation importance that contain critical dune habitat.
    16 acres near the Elberta Pier at the mouth of Betsie Bay, including 578 feet of Lake Michigan shoreline, will be transferred to the Village of Elberta for use as a public park.
    The acquisition would allow the Betsie Valley Trail to extend through the property, connecting Frankfort and Elberta’s municipal Lake Michigan beaches. This segment would also link to 22 miles of scenic trails in Benzie County.
    Nine acres east of the Waterfront Park, which has access to municipal water and sewer, will be set aside for community-aligned redevelopment.

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