Mission and History

Land Conservancy, Conservation, Michigan, Accredited Land Trust

MISSION STATEMENT

Legacy’s mission is to secure for current and future generations a land base for nature, agriculture, fresh water and recreation in Washtenaw and Jackson Counties and beyond.

HISTORY

Founded in 1971, Legacy Land Conservancy is Michigan’s oldest organization dedicated to the voluntary conservation of locally important land. Faced with growing concerns about the potential for development of land along the Huron River, a group of Ann Arbor leaders banded together to acquire land along the river and keep it in public trust. From those humble beginnings, Legacy has helped protect over 8,000 acres of land that provides fresh water, places to play, and working farms, all right here at home.

These founders called their organization the Washtenaw Land Conservancy. Its work produced such community gems as the Osborne Mills Riverlands Preserve, Black Pond Woods, and parts of Bandemer Park and Bird Hills Nature Area.

Legacy’s history also includes the Potawatomi Land Trust, formed in 1989 to focus on the protection of farmland. Potawatomi protected the land that houses the Community Farm of Ann Arbor, one of the first farms in the nation to experiment with community supported agriculture. The project was made possible by gifts large and small from hundreds of individuals. The personal nature of this giving is a tribute to the importance placed on this unique community asset, and the commitment of our community to voluntary conservation.

In 1999, Washtenaw Land Conservancy and Potawatomi Land Trust merged to form the Washtenaw Land Trust. The collaboration between their similar missions has led to new success. Today, more than 100 individual properties have been conserved—forever.

In 2008, the Land Trust took steps to formally extend its service area to include Jackson County. This action was in response to increased landowner interest, and recognition that Jackson County possesses some of the world’s rarest natural areas, worthy of a concentrated land protection effort. The organization changed its name to Legacy Land Conservancy to reflect its expanded service area. Shortly thereafter, Legacy became one of the first accredited land trusts in the nation. This accreditation is a testament to over 45 years of voluntary conservation, supported by our extended community, and adhering to a set of standards designed to help guarantee that our work will endure forever.

In late 2014, Legacy was reaccredited by the Land Trust Accreditation Commission

Legacy Land Conservancy is a 501(c)(3) organization, and a member of the Land Trust Alliance and Heart of the Lakes.

THE EMERALD ARC

“Make no small plans, for they have not the power to move men’s souls.”…Daniel Burnham

In 2008, Legacy Land Conservancy set a goal of protecting 25,000 acres of the most important lands in Washtenaw and Jackson Counties.  This “Emerald Arc” extends from Pinckney State Recreation Area on the north, to Hayes State Park on the south.  It includes portions of the Huron, Raisin, Grand, and Kalamazoo rivers.  Both sides of the Arc are bordered by some of America’s most productive farmland.  Working with our partners and with the community, Legacy is committed to ensuring that future generations enjoy the clean water, fresh food, and peaceful recreational opportunities that have characterized Washtenaw and Jackson counties for generations.

Legacy’s Strategic Plan

In 2008, Legacy Land Conservancy adopted a strategic vision for the land conservation it would undertake. This vision is supported by a strategic plan, updated regularly, that sets out the broad focus for the organization. Your thoughts are appreciated. Contact info@legacylandconservancy.org or 734-302-5263.

Land Trust Accreditation Commission

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *