History

It all began with a vision. Founders Ed and Bobbie Collins of Leland saw the future of Leelanau County in peril from over-development and increased demand for second and third summer homes. They feared seeing the loss of critical farmland and wetlands essential to the rural character of the County.

In 1988, their vision was put to work when they hired Brian Price, who had a degree and an interest in fishing. Brian Price and wife Susan took on the positions of Executive and Finance Directors and served for over 25 years. The staff of two has grown over the years and is now led by Executive Director Tom Nelson.

Since the beginning, the staff and board of the Leelanau Conservancy has worked tirelessly to protect the places that you love and the character that makes the Leelanau Peninsula so unique. Our organization has earned a reputation as one of the premier land trusts in the country, with projects touching lives and saving land in each of Leelanau’s 11 townships. Since our formation in 1988, we have preserved over 11,500 acres and created 25 Natural Areas for public enjoyment with more than 15 miles of hiking trails.

We have worked with over 200 families to preserve cherished lands. Some of the best views, most sensitive wetlands, and biggest working farms have been forever protected because of the Leelanau Conservancy. With nearly 2,800 members backing us up, the Conservancy is making a very real difference in what Leelanau County is to become.

View our 25 Year Timeline!

Watch our 25th Anniversary Video