Conservation has always been important to the members of John Weting’s family. In 1929, his grandparents Howard and Hazel Weting purchased an 80-acre parcel in Clare County’s Freeman Township. They immediately set out to transform the property into a haven for native plants and wildlife. In the 1930s they began a project that would span decades, planting thousands of trees across the property.
On August 16th, that legacy was continued when John Weting signed a permanent conservation easement on the property on behalf of Weting Land and Building, LLC. Said Weting, “My grandparents maintained the property as a natural woodland environment. We would like to maintain the property in a manner best for the flora and fauna for the next 25, 50, 100 years.”
The Weting easement was established to permanently preserve important natural space and wildlife habitat in the Muskegon River Watershed. Active management of the property for wildlife is on-going. Many of the red pine trees planted by Howard and Hazel in the 1930s and 1940s have been harvested in the past decade as the Weting Family follows a Forest Management Plan (FMP) designed to increase both species and age-structure diversity among the trees on the property. The results can already be seen as the site has exploded with young aspen, oak, and maple trees.
CWC Executive Director Mike LeValley said, “The Weting Family is leaving a lasting natural legacy for future generations. We are grateful for their generosity and pleased to help them make the easement a reality.”
Members of a fifth generation of the Weting Family continue to enjoy the fruits of the labors that were started by Howard and Hazel Weting nearly 100 years ago. Today a bronze monument on the property marks the efforts that Howard and Hazel made to protect and restore the property. Thanks to a conservation easement their legacy is now forever protected.
The Weting Easement is the Conservancy’s fifth conservation easement in Clare County. Together these easements protect 2,574 acres of natural space for the use and enjoyment of future generations.