Duck Lake Corners Forever Preserved

From our 2006 Summer Newsletter

The place known today as Duck Lake Corner has forever been preserved through purchase of a conservation easement. This junction, where M-22 and M-204 converge and Duck Lake shimmers through the trees beyond, is one of those, “phew, we’re almost there” kind of places. Thousands of cars stop and go at this T-shaped intersection each day—particularly in summer. For weary travelers coming north on vacation, just one more turn means they’re getting ever closer to beloved destinations like Leland or Glen Arbor.

It’s also a locale that is prime for a gas station or convenience store. That won’t happen, thanks to owner Kay Osborne, who recently acquired full interest in the land after her mother’s passing. It has long been Kay’s dream to keep this landmark property along the Leelanau Scenic Heritage Route looking the same as it has since her mother vacationed there as a child. We had identified this area as a special place to protect over 10 years ago, but for one reason or another, plans were never finalized.

Then last year, Kay invited us to revisit the idea of permanently protecting some of the land with a conservation easement. The Conservancy was thrilled to have the opportunity to work with her. The easement covers 23 acres and two distinct areas. (see map) The Upland Scenic Highway Corridor takes in 12 acres along M-22 (200 feet deep) and M-204 (300 feet deep). The easement protects the highway from any future development.

The land that borders Duck Lake is about 11 acres of mostly wetland with some dry pockets of white cedar and red maple forest. Permanent protection of this portion of the property will ensure that 2,300 feet of Duck Lake’s 5,100 feet of shoreline will remain a sanctuary for several species of frogs, turtles and waterfowl nesting along the shore. This unique lake on the fringe of the Lake Leelanau watershed drains into Lake Michigan and receives its water from a seep flowing from the forested hillside to the east.

Protecting the forested land along the Leelanau Scenic Heritage Route and sensitive Duck Lake shoreline was a win-win for the community and for Kay’s dream of preserving the sense of place here. If you would like to contribute to this and future projects to protect more of this critical intersection, contact Development Director Anne Shoup to learn more about our Duck Lake Corner Preservation Fund.

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