More than a place, the Emerald Arc is an idea: that we can provide significant open spaces for ourselves, for our neighbors, forever. Building on the generous legacy of prior generations, the Arc will protect lands that increase public access, protect fresh waters, encourage local agriculture, and preserve wildlife habitat.
When the Emerald Arc concept arose during the Great Depression, the vision was a series of connected parks throughout the Huron River and Clinton River watersheds to provide recreation for a rapidly growing population. Over the past 80 years, this vision has expanded to include protection of both public and private lands, for a wider range of benefits: water quality, habitat corridors, agricultural production, and trails connecting larger blocks of recreational land.
Today, the goal of Legacy’s Emerald Arc campaign is to protect 25,000 acres of natural and agricultural land, embracing public recreation areas, working farms, and the headwaters of essential rivers. This protected land will provide open spaces, clean water, wildlife habitat, and working farms that add up to a superior quality of place for our communities.