For more than fifty years, Legacy Land Conservancy has been a trusted leader in protecting and preserving land in southern Michigan. What began in 1971 as an all-volunteer organization focused on protecting natural land along the Huron River in Ann Arbor, grew to include a team of dedicated staff, board, donors, volunteers, and partners protecting various types of land throughout Washtenaw and Jackson Counties. Now, entering our fifty-first year, Legacy is embracing the next phase of collaborative, innovative land protection by adding Lenawee County—the county just south of Washtenaw and Jackson—to our service area.
Uniquely positioned within in the heart of the River Raisin Watershed, what happens on the land in Lenawee impacts drinking water, wildlife, agriculture, recreation, and tourism throughout the Great Lakes Basin.
“Protecting and preserving Lenawee’s land through local and regional collaborative partnerships is another important piece in Michigan’s land protection puzzle,” Legacy Land Conservancy board chair Larry Doll said. “It is essential to provide conservation of wildlife habitat and migration corridors; preservation of working farms for economic vitality, conserved rural heritage, and availability of local food sources; increased access to nature for recreation and scenic enjoyment; and clean water safeguarded in healthy watersheds.”
Known for its rural character, working farms, scenic views, large expanses of farmland, and the River Raisin, Lenawee County plays an integral part of safeguarding our Pure Michigan way of life. The health of the Great Lakes and Michigan’s clean water, is inextricably tied to the rivers that flow to them. And, the health of these rivers is dependent on the land they flow through and the lands that contain their headwaters.
With the addition of Lenawee County to our Jackson and Washtenaw County service area, Legacy is responsible for protecting land containing the headwaters of four major rivers: the Kalamazoo and Grand, flowing to Lake Michigan, and the Huron and the Raisin, flowing to Lake Erie. Currently, Legacy stands sentinel over one of the world’s most precious resources and proudly bears responsibility for water quality affecting 34 million people in the United States and Canada.
“Legacy is excited to join the land protection work that is already being done in Lenawee County,” Legacy Land Conservancy’s Executive Director Diana Kern said. “We look forward to getting to know the community and collaborating with new partners as we work to protect the beautiful places and unique character of southern Michigan for current and future generations.”