For this year’s Land Partner Gathering, we tried something a bit different than what we’ve done in years past. Instead of hosting a pancake potluck at the Legacy office, we took our coffee, bagels, and pastries—generously provided by Hyperion Coffee Co. and Zingerman’s—and our presentation out onto the land!
Legacy landowners and volunteers met on a gorgeous Saturday morning at one of Legacy’s conservation easements in Dexter, where we showcased a large-scale, ongoing ecological restoration project and highlighted the value of the information and resources we provide at our annual Land Partner Gatherings.
In 2009, landowners David and Alisande Read purchased their property with a conservation easement held by Legacy and have spent the last 13 years stewardship and ecologically improving the land. During this time, they have long been working independently to restore some of their land, formerly used for agricultural production, to a more natural state. During last year’s Virtual Land Partner Breakfast, however, they connected with Jim Hazelman, the US Fish & Wildlife Service Biologist tasked with running the State’s Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program. The Program provides free technical and financial assistance to landowners interested in improving wildlife habitat on their land.
After speaking in-depth with Jim, the Reads enrolled in the Program. They received technical assistance to design, oversee, and implement plans to establish native grasses and wildflowers on former agricultural land and to restore a wetland basin. And, they received funding to cover more than 75% of project costs!
A huge thank you to David and Alisande for allowing us to host this event at their home and for showing us what can be accomplished on private lands with a strong commitment to stewardship.
Special thanks to Jim Hazelman and the Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program for giving us an inside look at an important but often overlooked landowner resource, and our friends at Zingerman’s and Hyperion Coffee Co. for the tasty food and coffee![Click here for more information on the Partners for Fish and Wildlife Program]