New Challenge Grant Needs Your Help

The Chippewa Watershed Conservancy has received a grant to help with the next stage of our plans to acquire 161 acres of land at Hall’s Lake in western Isabella County, near the border with Mecosta County.

The Carls Foundation, a Detroit-based private philanthropic foundation, has awarded a $60,000 challenge grant to purchase at least 40 acres of undeveloped land on the east side of the lake. The Carls Foundation will match, up to $60,000, every dollar contributed to this project between now and December 31, 2012.

We are delighted with this new partnership with the Carls Foundation. This is a major step forward in our plans to preserve a substantial block of land as natural and scenic space for public recreation and education.

The CWC began the project to permanently preserve the area with the purchase of the 22-acre parcel now called the Neely Preserve, in 2008. Two landowners are holding an additional 139 acres of adjoining land until we can acquire funds to purchase it. In the meantime, they have allowed trails, benches and interpretive signage to be extended from the Neely Preserve throughout the adjoining parcels, and permitted public access for nature walks and hiking while the acquisition effort continues. All of the land is collectively called the Hall’s Lake Natural Area.

The 4th Thursday at Hall’s Lake Nature Adventures walks conducted all summer long will be returning again next year. Many people participated and many others have walked the trails on their own.

The Hall’s Lake Natural Area will be a tremendous resource for people looking to enjoy nature and for its natural science educational opportunities in an area where there is not a lot of public land available.

We need to raise about $300,000 to complete the entire project. With a successful conclusion of this challenge grant, we will be $120,000 closer to that goal, but we need your help now. Please take advantage of this generous offer from the Carls Foundation to effectively double the value of your contribution by donating now. It’s easy. Just write a check to “CWC,” and put “Hall’s Lake” in the memo line, and mail to CWC, P.O. Box 896, Mount Pleasant, MI 48804-0896.

For more information about this project, call the office at (989) 644-5045 or email info@ChippewaWatershedConservancy.org.