All Posts

July 7, 2022 in General

Impressions of a first time visitor – Hiawatha Hills Preserve

The following is the second guest post by 2022 intern Rye Schall. Rye is completing a Marketing internship with the CWC this summer. In addition to other duties, Rye has…
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June 24, 2022 in General

Impressions of a first time visitor – Audubon Woods

The following is a guest post by 2022 intern Rye Schall. Rye is completing a Marketing internship with the CWC this summer. In addition to other duties, Rye has been…
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April 11, 2022 in General

Give Local Isabella – May 3, 2022

Make an investment in the future of our community by donating during #givelocalisabella - a 24 hour virtual fundraising event on Tuesday, May 3rd. Donations to the CWC through Give…
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March 1, 2022 in General

Outdoor Books for Outdoor People (2022 Edition)

Happy National Reading Month! It's time to share my list of outdoor books again. In March 2020 I shared this list for the first time. Last year, I updated it…
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October 29, 2021 in General

Fall Fungi

September and October have been fabulous months for fungi! Thank you to Sister Marie Kopin for leading a series of mushroom identification forays at our preserves. I always learn something…
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October 26, 2021 in General

2021 Fall Fundraiser and Bob Ball Award Presentation

Thursday, October 14th marked a milestone for the Chippewa Watershed Conservancy as we celebrated our first Fall Fundraiser at Little Flower Barn in Lake Isabella. This event marked the first…
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September 27, 2021 in General

Wildflowers of Sylvan Solace (#86 – #100)

This is part seven of a photo series documenting my attempt to identify and catalogue all of the wildflowers to be found at Sylvan Solace Preserve during 2021. I’m doing…
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August 23, 2021 in General

McLaren Staff Take On Bundy Hill

When Chippewa Watershed Conservancy (CWC) staff first sat down for a meeting with Rachel Blizzard, Director of Marketing and Business Development for McLaren Central Michigan, we had no idea where…
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August 22, 2021 in General

Peterson Natural Area Wildflower Walk

On Saturday August 21st, a very hot and humid day, the Chippewa Watershed Conservancy hosted a group of nature enthusiasts at Peterson Natural Area in Mecosta County for an annual…
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August 10, 2021 in General

The Ferns of Audubon Woods

On Saturday August 7th, CWC member Cathy Murray led a group of nature enthusiasts on a tour of Audubon Woods Preserve with the objective of finding and identifying the preserve's…
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July 6, 2021 in General

Wildflowers of Sylvan Solace (#66 – #85)

This is part six of a photo series documenting my attempt to identify and catalogue all of the wildflowers to be found at Sylvan Solace Preserve during 2021. I'm doing…
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June 15, 2021 in General

Wildflowers of Sylvan Solace (#51 – #65)

This is part five of a photo series documenting my attempt to identify and catalogue all of the wildflowers to be found at Sylvan Solace Preserve during 2021. I'm doing…
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May 28, 2021 in General

Wildflowers of Sylvan Solace (#36 – #50)

This is part four of a photo series documenting my attempt to identify and catalogue all of the wildflowers to be found at Sylvan Solace Preserve during 2021. In addition…
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May 14, 2021 in General

Wildflowers of Sylvan Solace (#26 – #35)

This is part three of a photo series documenting my attempt to identify and catalogue all of the wildflowers to be found at Sylvan Solace Preserve during 2021. This survey…
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May 10, 2021 in General

Thank you for Giving Local!

We are so grateful for our community and our incredible supporters who donated during the Give Local Isabella Event on May 4th, 2021. We want to shout a resounding thanks…
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May 6, 2021 in General

These Photos are Anything but Basic!

On Saturday May 1st, we hosted our first Super Basic Nature Photography workshop at Audubon Woods Preserve. The photographers joining us arrived with a variety of experience levels and equipment…
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May 5, 2021 in General

Wildflowers of Sylvan Solace (#14 – #25)

This part two of a series detailing my quest to document all of the wildflowers to be found at Sylvan Solace Preserve during the Preserve's 25th Anniversary Year. Five weeks…
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April 15, 2021 in General

Give Local Isabella

Help build the CWC Endowment Fund on May 4th, 2021 Give Local Isabella is a 24-hour virtual fundraising event to help non-profits in Isabella County increase their capacity by raising…
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April 13, 2021 in General

Wildflowers of Sylvan Solace Preserve (#1 – #13)

This year as part of the 25th Anniversary of Sylvan Solace Preserve, I've decided to try to catalogue all of the various wildflowers found on the preserve (including trees and…
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March 3, 2021 in General

Outdoor Books for Outdoor People (Updated for 2021)

Happy National Reading Month! Last March I shared my list of outdoor books for the first time. I've updated it to add the books that I read in 2020. How…
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December 16, 2020 in General

2020 End of Year Virtual Member Update

Do you want to know more about what the CWC did in 2020? Do you want to learn more about some of the exciting projects we have coming up in…
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December 14, 2020 in General

Get to Know Michigan’s State Game Mammal

Although deer hunting season is winding down here in Michigan, our interaction with the powerful and graceful mammal is unlikely to slow down anytime soon. Whether deer are grazing on…
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October 12, 2020 in General

Connecting Young Children to Nature

Research shows an unwavering hypothesis across the board when it comes to a child's development; the first several years are absolutely the most critical. It is said that the time…
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October 4, 2020 in General

On the Hunt for Wild Apples

Almost all wild apples are handsome. They cannot be too gnarly and crabbed and rusty to look at.                 -Henry David Thoreau from "Wild…
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September 29, 2020 in General

Limited Edition Print Available Now!

"Wild Stream" by Stephanie Jackson, artist, and owner of Rabbit Print Studio, was commissioned by the Chippewa Watershed Conservancy to celebrate our 25th Annual Spring Banquet. Although the banquet couldn't…
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September 25, 2020 in General

Getting to Know Trees : Activities for Young Children

Our Preschool Preservers program has put together a few simple activities to get your little ones or young students outdoors interacting with (and hopefully falling in love with) the natural…
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August 26, 2020 in General

Connecting with the Land: Chippewa Watershed Conservancy

Chippewa Watershed Conservancy is excited to launch a new book titled Connecting with the Land. The gorgeous hard-cover coffee table book features full-color beautiful photographs from our preserves collected from…
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August 11, 2020 in General

Experiential Learning – Nature Yoga for Kids

Connecting children to nature at a young age is important to their relationship with the natural environment throughout life. However, that doesn't necessarily mean "teaching" them about nature. Toddlers, preschoolers,…
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July 22, 2020 in General

The Intangibles

I recently read the book Reflections From The North Country by Sigurd Olson. A noted conservationist and author, Olson served a term as president of The Wilderness Society and was…
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May 8, 2020 in General

Spring Wildflowers of Central Michigan (Part III)

This is the third and final article of our series highlighting the spring wildflowers of Central Michigan. In Part I we discussed the reasons behind our diversity of wildflower species…
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April 25, 2020 in General

Spring Wildflowers of Central Michigan (Part II)

This is Part II of a three part series highlighting the spring wildflowers of Central Michigan. In Part I we discussed why Central Michigan has such an abundance of wildflower…
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April 18, 2020 in General

Spring Wildflowers of Central Michigan (Part I)

When it comes to an abundance of wildflower species, the people that reside in the Chippewa River watershed are truly lucky. By the sheer luck of geography, we live in…
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April 15, 2020 in General

Hiking for Health’s Sake IV: Relational Health

For this final installment of the Hiking for Health's Sake series the focus of the hiking experience became relational health. As a community supported land conservancy in an area with…
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April 8, 2020 in General

Hiking for Health’s Sake III: Internal Medicine

For part three of this series, I took a look at the invisible benefits of hiking. My research uncovered a laundry list of positive outcomes from the activity of walking.…
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April 4, 2020 in General

Tree ID and Classification

There's no time like the present to learn something new. Central Michigan is home to dozens of different tree and shrub species. For a novice in tree identification the variety…
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April 1, 2020 in General

Hiking for Health’s Sake II: Finding Solace

With gray, early spring weather presiding over the landscape and prevailing news updates honed on social distancing and a state wide shelter-in-place order, I needed a mental boost now more…
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March 25, 2020 in General

Hiking For Health’s Sake

It is not difficult to find fact based evidence to support the idea that being active in the outdoors carries immeasurable health benefits. CWC encourages our community to get outdoors,…
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March 24, 2020 in General

COVID-19 Impact on the CWC

Dear CWC Supporters, Due to the continuing impact of COVID-19, we have reached the difficult decision to postpone our 25th Annual Banquet from Thursday April 30th to a later date…
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March 19, 2020 in General

An Alphabet for Michigan Native Plant Lovers

While we're all social distancing and self-quarantining, it's easy to forget that there is still beauty in this world. Nature is a great cure. It has measurable effects on our…
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March 11, 2020 in General

Outdoor Books for Outdoor People

March is National Reading Month! I've noticed that people that love the outdoors also tend to love reading about the outdoors.  I am normally reading two, three, or four different…
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February 3, 2020 in General

The Afterlife of a Deer

We love our trail cameras! They give us the option of being in the woods 24/7 even when we can't physically be in the woods 24/7. A few weeks ago…
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December 23, 2019 in General

Farewell Dear Friend

It is with warmest wishes and mixed emotions that we announce the retirement of Louise Hammer, long time friend and administrative professional for the Chippewa Watershed Conservancy. Louise will be…
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December 20, 2019 in General

2019 in Review

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…
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November 11, 2019 in General

We want to hear from you!

As an organization, we talk frequently about our mission to protect and restore Central Michigan's land, water, and wildlife resources to improve the quality of life for all. It is…
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October 17, 2019 in General

Easements: The Unsung Hero of Conservation

For Chippewa Watershed Conservancy, nature preserves are our bread and butter. Public preserves are the easiest avenue for us to create connections between our community and the environment.They are the…
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October 9, 2019 in General

Caught on Trail Cam

A young northern raccoon scurries by at twilight We know our preserves provide valuable wildlife habitat, but we don't always know what wildlife is using the habitat. As much as…
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October 4, 2019 in General

Preschool Preservers Program Officially Launched

After a year of planning, fundraising and collaborating, CWC has finally launched it's newest program. Preschool Preservers is a field trip based program offering hands on, play based educational experiences…
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August 13, 2019 in General

Stellar Stargazing at Sylvan Solace

Going into the woods at dark was anything but spooky last Friday, August 9th as CWC partnered up with Chippewa River District Library, Veteran's Memorial Library branch for a Stargazing…
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August 13, 2019 in General

Making New Friends

Last year the CWC decided to host a new kind of event - a "friendraiser". Please notice that it says friendraiser not fundraiser. We make new friends all the time…
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August 2, 2019 in General

Chippewa Watershed Conservancy Hires New Executive Director

The Chippewa Watershed Conservancy (CWC) is pleased to announce the hiring of Michael James (“Mike”) LeValley as Executive Director.  A long-time volunteer with the CWC, Mike has served the past…
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July 25, 2019 in General

CWC T-Shirts Available for Limited Time

The custom design was created by CWC intern Katelyn Maylee and is available in 5 earth tone colors. Add one of these retro style t-shirts to your closet and help…
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May 28, 2019 in General

Glacial Impact Explored at Bundy Hill

Saturday, May 25th, 2019 a group of 25 joined Dr. Fred Heck, professor of geology at Ferris State University for a hike at the Bundy Hill Nature Preserve. Heck led…
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April 25, 2019 in General

24th Annual CWC Spring Banquet

This year's banquet celebrated a year of change. Organizational transitions, additional staff and interns, new trail systems, recently acquired properties and budding partnerships were all mentioned during Board President Steve…
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April 25, 2019 in General

Hall’s Lake Owl Prowl

A group of 15 gathered at sunset on Friday, April 19th, at the Hall’s Lake Natural Area to listen for owls and enjoy the rise of the “Pink Moon,” so…
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March 26, 2019 in General

Thank You 2019 Banquet Sponsors!

Special thanks to all of our 2019 CWC 24th Annual Banquet sponsors. Their generosity is key in helping us execute our largest fundraising event of the year. Your support is…
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March 12, 2019 in General

Springtime Hiking Options in Central Michigan

With the Spring Equinox right around the corner, it's not too early to plan your nearby hiking adventures! We've compiled this list of trails in the Central Michigan region. The…
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March 5, 2019 in General

Annual Spring Banquet Fundraiser Slated for April 18th

Please save the date and make your reservation today for our 24th Annual Spring Banquet! We hope you will join us for the 24th Annual Spring Banquet Fundraiser hosted by…
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February 28, 2019 in General

Spring Education and Volunteer Opportunities Announced

Chippewa Watershed Conservancy (CWC) is pleased to announce its spring 2019 environmental education programs and volunteer opportunities which run from March to May. Offerings include guided hikes, invasive species management,…
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February 12, 2019 in General

Variety of Wildlife Tracks Identified on Guided Hike

On Saturday, February 9th, Chippewa Watershed Conservancy (CWC) board member and Isabella Conservation District educational coordinator, Mike LeValley led a small group on an exploration of CWC's Halls Lake Natural…
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January 8, 2019 in General

Anne Messinger Nearly Doubles Size of Conservation Easement

In rural Deerfield Township, Isabella County, Anne Messinger took leadership of protecting the land where she resides. Anne reached out to the Conservancy in spring 2018 to see if several…
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December 14, 2018 in General

Board Approves Strategic Plan; CWC Mission, Vision & Values Revised

The Chippewa Watershed Conservancy Board of Directors recently approved a new three-year strategic plan which will go into effect on January 1st, 2019. The planning framework highlights our goals as…
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November 26, 2018 in General

Winter Educational Programs and Events Announced

Chippewa Watershed Conservancy (CWC) has recently unveiled a slate of environmental education programs and other events for the months of December, January and February. All of these programs are free…
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November 19, 2018 in General

Wilderness Wanderers Project Connects At-Risk Youth to Outdoors

Chippewa Watershed Conservancy (CWC) is pleased to announce a new educational partnership with local alternative schools. Dubbed the Wilderness Wanderers Project, the partnership teaches children important environmental education lessons, engages…
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October 22, 2018 in General

Fall Colors Dazzle at CWC Nature Preserves

Various shades of red, orange, yellow and purple are at their peak at Chippewa Watershed Conservancy’s (CWC) 22 nature preserves during mid-October. Places such as Bundy Hill Preserve, Audubon Woods…
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September 25, 2018 in General

Hiking Trail System Completed at Bundy Hill Preserve

The tallest geologic point in Isabella County just got easier to explore thanks to Chippewa Watershed Conservancy  staff and volunteers. Recent completion of a two-mile long hiking trail system offers…
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August 31, 2018 in General

Stunning Photos Capture Life on the Preserves

Talented local photographer and Chippewa Watershed Conservancy (CWC) nature preserve explorer, Jason Mahokey, has been busy exploring CWC's flagship protected areas this summer. Check out these incredible shots of plant…
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August 20, 2018 in General

Two 2018-2019 Academic Year Internship Opportunities

We are currently recruiting for one Environmental Education Intern and one Public Relations/Marketing Intern. Please visit for more information on these opportunities. The Chippewa Watershed Conservancy is a 501(c)(3)…
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August 14, 2018 in General

Fall Environmental Education and Volunteer Programs Announced

Chippewa Watershed Conservancy (CWC) has announced its fall 2018 environmental education programs and volunteer opportunities which run from September through November. Offerings include guided hikes, indoor educational presentations, invasive species…
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July 31, 2018 in General

Alexis Wixson Joins CWC as Development and Outreach Coordinator

Please help us welcome Alexis Wixson to the Chippewa Watershed Conservancy team as Development and Outreach Coordinator! Alexis grew up in Isabella County and has a great love for this…
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July 25, 2018 in General

Bundy Hills History Trail Dedicated

An official dedication of The Bundy Hills History Trail occurred on Saturday, July 14th at 10 am at CWC's 100-acre Bundy Hill Preserve. Over 40 people came out to celebrate…
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July 17, 2018 in General

Chippewa River Water Festival Celebrates Conservation

The second annual Chippewa River Water Festival was held on Sunday, July 15th at Chipp-A-Waters Park in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan. Over 500 people attended the Water Fest and learned about…
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July 2, 2018 in General

Watershed Wanderings Video Series Highlights Area Recreational Opportunities

Watershed Wanderings is a short video series made to inspire outdoor adventure in the Chippewa River Watershed. Produced by Chippewa Watershed Conservancy (CWC), the video series highlights nearby outdoor recreational…
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June 19, 2018 in General

Summer Membership Campaign Aims to Grow Support for Conservancy

From June 15th, 2018 through July 15th, 2018 Chippewa Watershed Conservancy (CWC) will be actively soliciting new members. There are many benefits to becoming a member of CWC. You’ll get…
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June 11, 2018 in General

Bundy Hill Geology Explored on Guided Hike

On Friday, June 8th, more than 25 participants were led on a guided hike at Bundy Hill Preserve by Dr. Fred Heck, Professor of Geology at Ferris State University. Hikers…
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May 31, 2018 in General

New Video Highlights Bundy Hill Trail Building Project

This incredible video, shot by experienced videographer Tyler Knowles, gives a detailed overview of the trail building process at our Bundy Hill Preserve. When completed, two loops will total just…
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May 16, 2018 in General

John Bush Inks Second Conservation Easement with Conservancy

In rural Colfax Township, Mecosta County, John Bush made a vision a reality by permanently protecting 78 acres under a conservation easement with Chippewa Watershed Conservancy. Named after the former…
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May 7, 2018 in General

Variety of Wildflower Species Seen on Guided Hike

Thanks to Mike LeValley, Education Coordinator for Isabella Conservation District and CWC Board Member, for leading a wildflower identification hike at CWC's Williams-Blackburn Preserve in Chippewa Township, Isabella County on…
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April 24, 2018 in General

Improvements Planned for Bundy Hill Preserve

Several strategic community partnerships are the driving force behind important recreational improvements at Chippewa Watershed Conservancy’s (CWC) Bundy Hill Preserve. The 100-acre natural area, located in Broomfield Township in Isabella…
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April 23, 2018 in General

Board Leadership Changes at Conservancy

For the first time since founding the Chippewa Watershed Conservancy in 1985, John Mitchell will not be at the helm of the organization. First publicly announced at CWC's Annual Spring…
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April 20, 2018 in General

Another Successful Spring Banquet in the Books

The Chippewa Watershed Conservancy's 23rd annual spring banquet was met with resounding success, yet again. Over 130 people attended the organization's annual major fundraising event on Thursday, April 19th at…
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April 3, 2018 in General

Game Cam Captures Wildlife Activity on Preserves

Check out this slideshow of winter wildlife on our nature preserves!
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April 2, 2018 in General

CWC Guest Speaker Series Highlights Experts in Outdoor Field

The CWC Guest Speaker Series is a new monthly indoor educational program held at Veterans Memorial Library in the Annex Room. The library is located in downtown Mt. Pleasant at…
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March 19, 2018 in General

Guided St. Patrick’s Day Hike Met with Perfect Weather

David DeGraaf, retired director of Forest Hill Nature Area in Gratiot County led a guided hike on St. Patrick's Day in search of signs of green. We'll let him describe…
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March 15, 2018 in General

Conservancy Earns National Recognition

Chippewa Watershed Conservancy Earns National Recognition Strong Commitment to Public Trust and Conservation Excellence March 15, 2018 Mount Pleasant, MI – At a time of political change, one thing is…
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March 12, 2018 in General

Annual Spring Banquet Slated for April 19th, 2018

We hope you will join us for our 23rd Annual Spring Banquet Fundraiser hosted by the Chippewa Watershed Conservancy at Bucks Run Golf Club on Thursday, April 19th, 2018. The…
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March 1, 2018 in General

Michigan’s Storied Logging History a Hit

Thank you to Mike LeValley, Conservancy board member, for a fantastic presentation on 19th and 20th century logging history of Michigan last night at Veterans Memorial Library. On February 28th,…
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February 5, 2018 in General

Two Porcupines Seen at Winter Wildlife Hike

Special thanks to Mike LeValley from Isabella Conservation District for leading an educational hike through Halls Lake Natural Area. While the preserve was fairly quiet in terms of wildlife activity,…
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January 23, 2018 in General

Conservancy Seeks Annual Business Sponsors

We're looking for annual business sponsors! Is your business looking for additional marketing and outreach opportunities while supporting an effective and respected nonprofit? The Chippewa Watershed Conservancy is searching for…
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January 10, 2018 in General

Conservation Internship Opportunity

The Chippewa Watershed Conservancy is a 501(c)(3) non-profit conservation organization based in Mt. Pleasant, Michigan, whose mission is to protect open space and wildlife habitat. The Conservancy owns 22 nature…
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January 4, 2018 in General

Winter Wildlife on the Preserves

Check out the gallery below for some recent flora and fauna photographs from our lesser-known preserves.
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December 11, 2017 in General

Quigley Creek Natural Area Sparkles Under Dusting of Snow

Have you ever tromped around at our 63-acre Quigley Creek Natural Area? If you haven't, we certainly recommend adding it to your public protected area bucket list. Established in 2012,…
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December 7, 2017 in General

Important Conservation Milestone Reached!

Thanks to a unique partnership between Chippewa Watershed Conservancy (CWC), Little Forks Conservancy and Trout Unlimited, CWC has now protected over 5,000 acres in total! The Little Forks Conservancy’s 270-acre…
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December 4, 2017 in General

Beautiful Weather for Tree ID Hike

Tree identification hike participants were greeted with unexpectedly pleasant December weather -- upper 40s, bluebird skies and no snow! Hikers learned about the differences between coniferous and deciduous trees, invasive…
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October 31, 2017 in General

Fall Color Splendor at Bundy Hill Preserve

Fall colors are beautiful from the ground, but from the air they are spectacular.  Please enjoy this collage of videos from Bundy Hill Preserve, prepared for us by the talented…
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October 23, 2017 in General

Mushroom Identification Hike a Great Success

Expert mycologist, Sister Marie Kopin, helped a group of sixteen interested nature lovers identify a variety of fungi collected from our Bundy Hill Preserve on the evening of Friday, October…
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September 21, 2017 in General

Bundy Hill Preserve Dedication–Board President John Mitchell’s Speech

If you missed it, or if you would just like to listen again, here is John Mitchell's address at the Bundy Hill Preserve Dedication.  He honors family, community, and the…
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September 12, 2017 in General

Bundy Hill Dedication Video Compilation

Tyler Knowles, a great friend of the CWC and award-winning filmaker, attended our Bundy Hill Dedication and put together a wonderful video compilation of the event.  Bundy Hill is special…
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August 23, 2017 in General

Bundy Hill Preserve Dedication

Were you there on August 19th for the dedication and celebration of the 100-acre Wakelin and Kathleen McNeel Bundy Hill Preserve? More than 100 people came to share the beautiful…
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April 28, 2017 in General

2017 Spring Banquet

The 22nd Annual Spring Banquet was another successful round of live auction winners, newly gained silent auction prized possessions, a wonderful presentation by Kyle Bagnall of his trials and tribulations…
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March 1, 2017 in General

Request for Comments–Accreditation Renewal 2017

The Land Trust Accreditation Program recognizes land conservation organizations that meet national quality standards for protecting important natural places and working lands forever. The Chippewa Watershed Conservancy (CWC) is pleased…
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February 14, 2017 in General

“Snowshoe Bundy!” A Winter Hike Delight

On February 11, “Five hikers showed up for the excursion,” said hike leader Cheryl Meyer, who generously donated her time and expertise to lead the hearty six, actually, counting baby Alex.…
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January 31, 2017 in General

An Important Announcement

Due to the incidence of Chronic Wasting Disease (CWD) identified in core Michigan counties, the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Division of Wildlife, Mecosta County and the US Department of…
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January 3, 2017 in General

Sunrise Hike at Bundy Hill

Happy 2017! How did you begin your new year? Mike LeValley woke up before 6:00AM and drove forty-five minutes to the Bundy Hill Preserve to lead an early morning walk.…
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October 27, 2016 in General

Bundy Hill Mushroom Foray Thank you to Tyler Knowles for filming our latest mushroom walk at Bundy Hill with Sister Marie Kopin.  We found this video to be educational and interesting, and we…
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September 6, 2016 in General

Call for Volunteers!

We’ll be doing some trail work and signage placement on Bundy Hill and could definitely use a hand. Although we don’t have a date set (we’ll update you when our…
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August 25, 2016 in General

CWC Hires New Director

The Chippewa Watershed Conservancy (CWC) announced the appointment of Kathy Ann (“Katie”) Randall as Executive Director. A former resident of Michigan, Katie served as a Board member, assistant to the…
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August 23, 2016 in General

Photography at Sylvan Solace

On Tuesday, August 2nd, we held a photography event at Sylvan Solace, to give photographers a chance to practice their craft and show off their work. Interested photographers met and for two…
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July 28, 2016 in General

Mushrooms at Sylvan Solace

On a warm Saturday morning, the attendees at the Sylvan Solace Mushroom Walk were greeted by Sister Marie Kopin July 23rd.  She is our guest writer today, and here is…
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July 15, 2016 in General

Learning the Ferns at Hall’s Lake

A group of ten fern enthusiasts found at least ten species of ferns at the Hall's Lake Natural Area fern walk on July 14th. With expert instruction from Dr. Doug Valek, the…
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June 30, 2016 in General

Bundy Hill Now the Newest Preserve

With his signature on the closing documents on June 28, 2016, Chippewa Watershed Conservancy (CWC) President John Mitchell completed the purchase of 100 acres encompassing Bundy Hill. Executive Director Stan…
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June 13, 2016 in General

Bundy Hill Fundraising – We’ve Done It!

We are excited to announce that in just seven months we have successfully raised the funds needed to purchase 100 acres encompassing Bundy Hill in western Isabella County, south of…
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June 7, 2016 in General

Dame’s Rocket – A Plant to Be Pulled

CWC volunteer Cathy Murray recently discovered and reported the presence of Dame's Rocket at the Williams-Blackburn Preserve in Isabella County. While certainly not new to the county, this was the…
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May 17, 2016 in General

Sylvan Solace Parking Improvements Complete

Regular visitors to the Sylvan Solace Preserve know that the spring thaw or a steady rain could make parking at Sylvan Solace a challenge. Even in dry weather, potholes at…
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May 9, 2016 in General

Another Great Spring Banquet

The 21st Annual Spring Banquet and Fundraiser on Thursday, April 28, 2016, was another huge success. More than 160 members and supporters gathered at Buck's Run to socialize, have a…
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April 13, 2016 in General

Reading the Land

“A lot can be learned about prior land use and land cover on a parcel simply by looking closely at what is there today,” said Mike LeValley, during his “Reading…
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April 5, 2016 in General

Lake Isabella from Bundy Hill

The final pieces are in place for Bundy Hill and we have lots of exciting news to report about the progress. Major donations from Don and Karen Stearns and from…
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March 30, 2016 in General

Stunning Wildlife on the Preserves

With the arrival of spring we have once again activated the game cameras we were able to purchase last year with a grant through the Mt. Pleasant Area Community Foundation…
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March 22, 2016 in General

The Carls Foundation Joins Bundy Hill Challenge

The Carls Foundation Joins Bundy Hill Challenge We have just received word that The Carls Foundation has awarded the Chippewa Watershed Conservancy a dollar for dollar matching grant up to…
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March 17, 2016 in General

Annual Spring Banquet and Fundraiser is Set

The date for our 21st Annual Spring Banquet and Fundraiser is fast approaching. We hope you are planning to attend on Thursday, April 28th at beautiful Buck’s Run. The social…
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March 17, 2016 in General

Bundy Hill Acquisition Project Captures Imagination

Bundy Hill has long been an attraction to the people of Mount Pleasant and the nearby area. The large boulder near the top of the hill has served as a…
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March 17, 2016 in General

The Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation Awards Three-year Grant to Conservancy

The Chippewa Watershed Conservancy has been awarded a three-year operating support grant totaling $120,000 by The Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation of Midland. The Foundation will provide $40,000 per…
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March 3, 2016 in General

20 for $200 Banquet Sponsors Needed

We are looking for 20 sponsors to step up in support of our 21st Annual CWC Spring Banquet, which is scheduled for Thursday, April 28, 2016, by contributing $200.00 each…
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March 1, 2016 in General

Call for Volunteers

Would you be interested in helping us drum up support meet the Bundy Hill challenges? We are in the midst of fundraising to buy 100 acres around Bundy Hill to…
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February 25, 2016 in General

How Much Timber is That?

If you’ve ever wondered how foresters establish the amount of marketable timber in a forest, or how to determine the approximate height of a tree, Isabella Conservation District Environmental Education…
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February 11, 2016 in General

Woollam Foundation Joins the Bundy Hill Challenge

The J. A. Woollam Foundation has become the latest to join the Bundy Hill land acquisition project, with a $5,000 dollar for dollar matching challenge. They have agreed to match…
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January 25, 2016 in General

Discovery – Animal Tracks in Winter

Leader Mike LeValley explains to some of the group what to expect on the winter animal signs walk Saturday, January 23, 2016 was a beautiful, mild mid-winter day at the…
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January 7, 2016 in General

Two Partners Issue Bundy Hill Challenges

We are pleased to announce that two new matching challenge grants have been received in support of our efforts to acquire Bundy Hill, the highest geologic point in Isabella County. Isabella Bank…
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January 7, 2016 in General

Hickory Hill Easement Protects an Important Piece of Clare County History

“For as long as we can remember we have been coming to this area to be with family," said siblings, David Mattern and Laurie Smith. "From a very early age…
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December 17, 2015 in General

Winter Trees at Sylvan Solace

Our student intern, Jonathon Breithaupt, has a passion for trees. On Saturday, December 5th, he led his second annual winter tree identification walk at Sylvan Solace Preserve. An interested group…
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November 26, 2015 in General

Bundy Hill Update

 Just over five weeks ago we announced an agreement with the family of the late Wakelin and Kathleen McNeel to purchase 100 acres encompassing Bundy Hill in western Isabella County…
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November 9, 2015 in General

Last Major Work of the Season at Sylvan Solace

On Sunday, October 25th, a group of students from Central Michigan University’s chapter of The Wildlife Society, as well as a couple of other interested student volunteers spent several hours…
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October 21, 2015 in General

History, Science and Fall Color at Birds, Branches and Brunch

On October 18, a crisp, blue-sky day, the Third Annual Birds, Branches and Brunch trail walk at the Hall’s Lake Natural Area saw an enthusiastic crowd. More than 50 parked…
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October 8, 2015 in General

We’re Buying Bundy Hill!

We are thrilled to announce that we have just signed an agreement to purchase 100 acres encompassing Bundy Hill in western Isabella County, south of Lake Isabella. At 1,270 feet,…
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September 8, 2015 in General

Photography at the Peterson Natural Area

On Wednesday, August 26th, we held a photography event at the Peterson Natural Area, the second in a planned series to give photographers a chance to practice their craft and…
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August 31, 2015 in General

More Mushrooming Adventures

Some of our regulars and many new visitors took advantage of opportunities to explore the preserves and learn about mushrooms during two of our recent forays. On Thursday, August 27th,…
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August 20, 2015 in General

Excluding the Deer

On August 19, 2015, eight hammer-wielding CWC supporters converged at the Kabana Preserve at the Hall's Lake Natural to hang, stretch and nail fencing for the deer exclosure demonstration project.…
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July 29, 2015 in General

Summer Mushrooms at the Hall’s Lake Natural Area

It may seem counter-intuitive to look for mushrooms on a hot, dry July day. Most Michiganders think of hunting for morels from mid-April thru May. But local expert, Sister Marie…
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July 1, 2015 in General

Scavenger Hunting – Photographic Style

On Saturday, June 27, twenty participants enjoyed an old game with a new twist during the photographic scavenger hunt at the Hall's Lake Natural Area. Local preserve stewards Judy and…
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June 23, 2015 in General

Exploring the Aquatic World at Sylvan Solace

Our third annual Aquatic Invertebrate Identification Workshop featured a location change this year. After two years at the Hall's Lake Natural Area, we moved to the Sylvan Solace Preserve for…
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June 21, 2015 in General

Tri-County Electric Supports Hall’s Lake Natural Area

On June 19, we were delighted to receive a check for $2,500 from HomeWorks Tri-County Electric Cooperative for stewardship at the Hall’s Lake Natural Area. “HomeWorks Tri-County Electric’s board of…
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May 29, 2015 in General

Photography at Audubon Woods

On Saturday, May 23rd, we held a photography event at the Audubon Woods Preserve. Interested photographers met and for two hours, took pictures of whatever grabbed their attention. Each photographer…
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May 14, 2015 in General

New QR Code Trail at Sylvan Solace

We have just completed a new project at Sylvan Solace Preserve aimed at reconnecting tech-savvy visitors to nature.  We have installed a seven-point QR code “learning point” trail. Visitors who…
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April 29, 2015 in General

20th Annual Spring Banquet

Dan Wyant, Director, Michigan DEQ Director Dan Wyant of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality was this year’s guest speaker at our 20th Annual Spring Banquet and Fundraiser. He laid…
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April 16, 2015 in General

Wild on the Preserves

We have been anxious to show the kinds of wildlife that live on our protected lands. With the help of a grant from the Dyke and Phyllis Heinze Conservation Fund…
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April 7, 2015 in General

Treats for the Wild Ones

We would like to thank Debbie Brown (of Listening Ear) and her friend, Walter, for visiting us at the Sylvan Solace Preserve on a bright, sunny Wednesday afternoon last week.…
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March 2, 2015 in General

Winter Tree Identification Walk Provides Different Perspective at Sylvan Solace

Saturday, February 28 dawned clear and cold, at about 8 below zero. But by the 10 a.m. start time, a hardy group was raring to explore the reaches of Sylvan…
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February 6, 2015 in General

Messinger Easement is Our Newest

With a smile on her face and a twinkle in her eye, Anne Messinger became the newest donor of a conservation easement with the Chippewa Watershed Conservancy (CWC) on February…
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January 28, 2015 in General

Discovering Animal Tracks at Sylvan Solace Preserve

Animal Tracks in Winter.  There is no better time than the middle of winter for a walk at Sylvan Solace Preserve to see animal tracks. On Saturday, January 24, 2015,…
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November 12, 2014 in General

Saginaw Bay WIN Awards Deer Exclosure Grant

The Saginaw Bay Watershed Initiative Network (WIN) has awarded the Chippewa Watershed Conservancy (CWC) a $1,000.00 Community Action Mini-grant in support of our Hall’s Lake Deer Exclosure. The CWC will…
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October 28, 2014 in General

Annual Fall Fundraiser – A Salute to Women

“A lot of good things are happening in the upper part of the Saginaw Bay Watershed, and they often go unsung. Well, tonight we are going to sing about the…
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October 16, 2014 in General

Birds, Branches & Brunch

If you missed the second annual Birds, Branches and Brunch progressive trail walk at the Hall’s Lake Natural Area on Sunday, October 12, you missed a wonderful event. The weather…
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September 30, 2014 in General

Michigan’s Wonderful Wetlands

“Sedges have edges!” The phrase was on everyone’s tongue as Dr. Doug Valek led a walking tour to see examples of wetlands at the Hall’s Lake Natural Area. The 180-acre…
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September 4, 2014 in General

The Multicolored World of Mushrooms

On August 28, 2014, Sister Marie Kopin led our 4th Thursday at Hall’s Lake walk on the Neely and Kabana preserves. Two dozen participants discovered a large variety of mushrooms,…
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September 3, 2014 in General

Wildflowers Out West

One of our under visited preserves is the 79-acre Peterson Natural Area in Mecosta County. This property, a former childhood home and farm, was donated to the CWC from the…
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August 20, 2014 in General

4th Thursday Fern Walk Held on a Saturday

Have you ever thought about how ferns differ from other plants? Do they have flowers? How do they reproduce? Are there guides to help identify different ferns?  Our stalwart leader,…
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July 18, 2014 in General

Surveying the Land

Part of good stewardship is learning what’s out there. This helps guide our plans for protection and invasive species removal and also aids in determining the health of our ecosystems.…
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July 10, 2014 in General

Spring Banquet Was a Hit

The 19th Annual CWC Spring Banquet and Fundraiser on April 24, 2014, was a great gathering of members and supporters. More than 180 guests heard Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Director…
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July 9, 2014 in General

Norcross Grant Gives Conservancy New Equipment

The Norcross Wildlife Foundation recently awarded the CWC a $2,200 grant to purchase two laptop computers to replace outdated equipment. As a result we have just acquired a new pair…
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July 9, 2014 in General

First River Etiquette Sign Installed

In March 2012, the Mount Pleasant City Parks and Recreation Department installed the first of a series of signs designed to promote the wise and safe use of the Chippewa…
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July 9, 2014 in General

Water Trail Map Project: Web-based Version is Newest Phase

A local ad-hoc group interested in promoting the Chippewa River has announced today that the web-based version of the Chippewa River Water Trail map is now available on-line. A group…
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July 7, 2014 in General

Conservancy Receives New Support Grant

Executive Director Stan Lilley reported that the CWC has been awarded a three-year, $120,000 operational support grant by the Herbert H. and Grace A. Dow Foundation of Midland, Michigan. The…
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July 7, 2014 in General

Woollam Foundation Awards Grant

We are excited to announce that the Chippewa Watershed Conservancy has received a grant from the J. A. Woollam Foundation designed to help increase our membership and to help with…
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July 2, 2014 in General

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,…
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July 2, 2014 in General

Hall’s Lake Natural Area is Featured

The Conservancy's Hall's Lake Natural Area Project was featured in a recent news story in the Morning Sun, a Mid-Michigan newspaper.  There is also a video interview with Stan Lilley, CWC's Executive…
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July 2, 2014 in General

Conservancy Receives Second Grant for Water Trail Map

The Chippewa Watershed Conservancy (CWC) has received a second grant recently relating to production of a water trail map for the Chippewa River from the river's headwaters in Mecosta County,…
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July 2, 2014 in General

Federal Tax Benefits

If you own land with important natural or historic resources, donating a voluntary conservation easement (also called conservation agreement) can be one of the smartest ways to conserve the land…
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July 2, 2014 in General

CWC Receives Grant Award for Chippewa River Watershed Project

The Bay Area Community Foundation has awarded a $12,000 grant from the Watershed Restoration Fund to the Chippewa Watershed Conservancy to help raise public awareness about the Chippewa River Watershed…
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July 2, 2014 in General

State legislature plans to cap public land holdings

The Michigan State Senate recently passed SB 248, which would cap the amount of land the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) can hold in the public interest at 4.65…
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July 2, 2014 in General

State Tax Law Encourages Donations of Conservation Easements

A conservation easement (CE) is a voluntary legal agreement between a landowner and a qualified nonprofit conservation organization or government entity that allows a landowner to limit the type or…
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October 13, 2013 in General

Birds, Branches & Brunch

Join us on Sunday, October 13, 2013 for a delightful walk through the woods with food and drinks. Take a leisurely walk along a mile of trails at the Hall's…
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September 28, 2013 in General

Hall’s Lake Hustle Fun Run – Cancelled

We're sorry but this event has been cancelled due to insufficient registrations. We will try again in the spring. Join us on Saturday, September 28, 2013, for the first annual Hall's…
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July 9, 2013 in General

CWC Promotes Wise Use of the Chippewa River

Thank you to Bob Peters and WCZY/WMMI radio in Mount Pleasant for two recent public service announcements about the Chippewa River Water Trail Map and the wise use of the Chippewa River.  Click to…
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June 29, 2013 in General

Radio Interview About the CWC

Listen to an interview of CWC Executive Director Stan Lilley by Tina Sawyer, the host of The Topic on radio station AM 830, WMMI, in Mount Pleasant, Michigan, on June 29, 2013.…
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March 9, 2013 in General

A Message From Executive Director Stan Lilley

I am pleased to tell you that we have received a new grant from the J. A. Woollam Foundation to help fund a 40-acre purchase as the third phase of…
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March 9, 2013 in General

Conservancy Featured on Radio Program

CWC Executive Director Stan Lilley was recently interviewed by Dr. Kirk Heinze of Michigan State University for the environmental radio program, "Greening of the Great Lakes."  You can hear that interview here. During…
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March 9, 2013 in General

Conservancy Receives National Recognition

We are very pleased and proud to announce that the Chippewa Watershed Conservancy has achieved land trust accreditation from the Land Trust Accreditation Commission, an independent program of the Land Trust…
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January 16, 2013 in General

Phase II of Hall’s Lake Natural Area is Complete

We have great news for all of the members and supporters of the Chippewa Watershed Conservancy. On January 16, 2013, we completed Phase II of the Hall’s Lake Natural Area…
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July 9, 2012 in General

New Grant Received for Hall’s Lake

The Chippewa Watershed Conservancy (CWC) announced today that the organization has received a new grant to help with the next stage of plans to acquire 162 acres of land at…
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