May, 2020–The dream to create a new Lime Lake Preserve has become a reality! In May we closed on the final two parcels that protect 26 acres, over 1,000 feet of shoreline and help to ensure the long-term water quality of Lime Lake and the Good Harbor Bay Watershed.
“We are grateful to the Lime Lake Association for their support—they really understand the importance of protecting these wetlands,” says Conservancy Development Director Meg Delor. “We’ve had an outpouring of support from people around the lake and from the Leelanau Community to help preserve this unique ecosystem.” Meg adds that longtime Conservancy supporter, Ron Lovasz, has made a significant gift that brought the fundraising results over goal. The new preserve has been named after Ron’s late wife, Pat.
From the new Preserve’s crescent-shaped shore, you can see Sugar Loaf. Across the lake to the northeast is our 40-acre Teichner Preserve. Together, these two Preserves will help to safeguard the stellar water quality in Lime Lake, Little Traverse Lake and Good Harbor Bay. The wetlands here act like a giant sponge. They also stem erosion, trap pollution, and slowly release cleansed water back into the lake.
The Preserve is also a haven for wildlife. Songbirds, red-shouldered hawks and eagles live in the forest. In the spring-fed stream brook trout spawn and thrive. Snakes and toads, ducks and otter are also frequently spotted here.
The first 5.9-acre parcel of the new Preserve, which was most at risk of being developed, was quickly purchased last May, thanks to our incredible supporters. The former owner had wanted to build a vehicle bridge over the stream, and install utility lines underneath it. That would have involved excavating 59 cubic yards of earth in a 400-foot long gash—threatening fragile stream bank habitat in the process. The owner had also applied to truck in nearly 500 yards of dirt to fill the wetland, and construct a road.
We wrote more about this ecological treasure and those who helped make it happen in our 2019 Annual Report–click on the link below to read it and learn more about this fantastic project.
“The community support to purchase two other parcels, and Mr. Lovasz’ gift, has truly been amazing,” says Executive Director Tom Nelson. “To have such spectacular ‘bookends’ on Lime Lake with first the Teichner Preserve, and now the Lime Lake Preserve, is a crowning achievement for our goals to preserve clean water, wildlife habitat and the scenic enjoyment of Lime Lake. And, in this pandemic, we have seen just how important our natural areas have been to those seeking safe places to connect with nature.”