This memorial to Legacy supporter Harlie Smith was written by his family.
Countless ways exist to create a legacy that will enhance the lives of those who inherit the world we leave behind. Legacies may certainly be formed through a bequest of money or other tangible property. But perhaps the most valuable and enduring way to create one is passing along cultural values to those who follow in our footsteps. Indeed, fostering a shared love, appreciation and respect for the land and natural spaces is a critical and necessary link to ensure that future generations will continue to embrace the same beliefs that we do concerning our precious resources.
We were fortunate to grow up in families that provided many opportunities to know and enjoy the countless outdoor activities available in Michigan. Our ancestors farmed the fields of southern Michigan and gave us wonderful homesteads where we learned to appreciate our beautiful inland and Great Lakes. From our first family camping trips at state parks along Lake Michigan, to swimming, boating and ice fishing near the Pinckney Recreation Area, to many days playing on the beaches of Grand Traverse Bay, and to wilderness canoeing and hiking trips, the experiences we all shared growing up created a foundation for a lifelong love of the land and a desire to ensure that future generations will have the same opportunities.
Sadly, our husband and father, Harlie Smith, passed away in early 2010 after a short battle with cancer. He had a great love for quiet outdoor sports, particularly canoeing, bicycling, cross country skiing and ice fishing. He also had a great appreciation for his heritage, passing along tools, skills and wisdom about leaving places better than we found them. He shared his appreciation for the natural world with us, and helped us to understand our responsibilities as stewards of the places that we live and love. These lessons will endure and stand as true legacies that we can, in turn, pass along to our offspring.
It is exactly these types of relationships and interactions that Legacy Land Conservancy is committed to protecting and enhancing for our children, grandchildren and beyond. For that reason, we and our extended family were pleased to make memorial donations to this wonderful cause in Harlie’s memory. We live in a special place with a plethora of outdoor activities available in every season. As you are engaging in the many activities that you love, take a moment to consider how you, too, can create your own legacy and ensure that these valuable resources will continue to be enjoyed and appreciated by future generations.