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 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 $15,000 cash grant to help purchase an additional 40 acres of undeveloped land on the east side of the lake.
Stan Lilley, Executive Director of the CWC, said, “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 a 22-acre parcel, called the Neely Preserve, in 2008. Last year, with grant assistance from The Carls Foundation and the J. A. Woollam Foundation, and contributions from more than 120 individuals and small business partners, the group added another 100 acres, now called the Kabana Preserve. Phase III of the project will add another 40 acres this year. All of the land is collectively called the Hall’s Lake Natural Area. A series of trails, benches and interpretive signage extend through the two preserves and the adjoining parcel and the conservancy is continuing to provide nature walks, educational programs and hiking while the acquisition effort continues.
“The cost to complete the entire 162-acre project is about $375,000. We have raised about $311,000 so far.” said Lilley.
“This 162-acre tract 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,” he said.