December 2019 marks the end of a decade, and the end of another successful year of land conservation here at Chippewa Watershed Conservancy. This year saw the appointment of a new executive director, the official launch of a new education program and many hours of volunteer efforts to remove invasive species, educate the public and manage the over 5,300 acres of permanently protected land under CWC ownership or easement.
This year, we joyfully welcomed new members and gratefully renewed relationships with long standing supporters. We saw new faces attending our guided hikes alongside our regulars. Brand new volunteers showed up to work enthusiastically next to long time friends of CWC. We offered new programs like our Star Gazing Hike in partnership with the Chippewa River District Library and our Yoga on the Hill with Red Bloom Yoga but also continued some of our usual favorites like the Full Moon Hikes and Mushroom Forays.
Staff at CWC embraced new training opportunities throughout the region and created new professional connections at conferences across the state. These opportunities included State of the Bay hosted by Saginaw Bay WIN, Rural Michigan Initiative hosted by Alma College, and the Do More Good Conference for Non-Profits where we absorbed information from marketing and administration leaders from across the globe. We watched webinars, listened to podcasts, talked to colleagues at other organizations and worked together to improve our processes and the services we can provide to this community.
In 2019 we held our most successful Annual Spring Banquet to date and broke internal fundraising records. We reached more people than ever before via social media and electronic content, and created new ways to give to our organization. CWC also took part in a brand new LPGA tour opportunity that combined community outreach with professional golf, creating positive ripples throughout the region.
Through a combination of board and committee meetings, public events, hours of staff time and connections with supporters like you, we did the work of protecting the rural landscape and wild habitat of Central Michigan. We are looking forward to 2020, the 35th year since the dream of protecting land in our community was brought to life by the founders of this organization. We look forward to the start of a new decade, and the endless possibilities on the horizon. We want to extend a huge thanks to the people who have supported us at any point over the last several decades and hope to reach even more people in the upcoming year.