ANN ARBOR, MI—Oh These Irish Hills! donated $1,540 to help protect—forever—the Girl Scouts Heart of Michigan Council’s (GSHOM) Camp O’ the Hills at Wamplers Lake.
“When our committee learned of the Conservancy project for Camp O’ the Hills, we all agreed it would be the perfect cause for our annual Run for the Hills 5K,” said Kay Roumell, vice president of Oh These Irish Hills!. “Our mission is to celebrate and support the beauty of the place, the spirit of its people, and the history of the Irish Hills. So for those of us who have sent our children there throughout the years and have heard the songs and laughter coming from its shores, we couldn’t think of a more worthy recipient.”
The funds provided include $1,500 in proceeds from the race and $40 donated by participants.
Legacy Land Conservancy has been working with GSHOM to permanently protect the 105-acre camp with a conservation easement. The legal agreement allows GSHOM to continue to own the property, while permanently restricting development of the camp’s natural areas.
“The Girls Scout Heart of Michigan Board of Trustees, along with our senior Leadership Team, has made a firm decision to hold this property in perpetuity for future generations of girls,” said GSHOM’s CEO, Jan Barker. “Our partnership with Legacy Land Conservancy provides a wonderful opportunity to create a conservation easement that will allow the property to be preserved for our girls.”
The project will benefit not only the camp’s visitors and local wildlife, but also the water quality for all the residents along the lake. Protecting the camp’s 70 acres of wetlands and remaining forest along Wamplers’ shoreline is the best way to positively impact the lake’s long-term water quality.
The easement will be attached to the deed of the property, so any future landowners are bound by the development restrictions. Legacy will monitor the property to ensure the terms of the easement are met.
To purchase the conservation easement, Legacy is expected to raise more than $ 252,000 by spring 2018. “We will be using the funds for programs, property maintenance and improvements at Camp O’ the Hills,” Barker noted.
So far, Legacy has secured a water-quality grant from the Michigan’s Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) and gifts, grants, and pledges from individuals, community groups, and private foundations. A gap of $40,000 remains.
“Contributions from community organizations like Oh These Irish Hills! are giving us the momentum we need to cross the finish line in protecting Camp O’ the Hills,” said Legacy’s Executive Director, Douglas Koop. “It is confirmation of the support and recognition for the Jackson area’s land-protection values.”
Donations in support of protecting Camp O’ the Hills can be made online at www.legacylandconservancy.org/donate/ or by calling 734-302-5263.
About Legacy Land Conservancy: Founded in 1971 as Michigan’s first local land trust, Legacy is a nonprofit conservation organization that protects land in southern Michigan. Legacy’s mission is to secure for current and future generations a land base for nature, agriculture, fresh water, and recreation in Jackson and Washtenaw counties and beyond. Legacy has helped to protect over 8,400 acres of land (including six nature preserves open for all to enjoy) that enhance our community’s quality of place by safeguarding water quality, conserving working farms, and protecting places to play. In a testament to 47 years of successful voluntary conservation, Legacy is accredited by the Land Trust Accreditation Commission for adhering to a set of standards designed to ensure the organization’s work will endure forever. Legacy is based in Ann Arbor, Michigan. For more information, visit www.legacylandconservancy.org.