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Conservation in Benzie

Conservation and Preservation in the Benzie Area

In May, we Nationally recognize Earth Day and Arbor Day.  These are annual events designed to bring awareness to the effects of the human equation on the earth's resources.  While many focus 1/365 of their time thinking about pollution, recycling, global warming, beach clean-ups, and more; it should really be a 365/365 issue.

We have many great organizations in the Benzie Area that work everyday to ensure that we have clean water, thriving forests, sustainable wildlife, and beautiful beaches to enjoy.  Their efforts are not just about bringing awareness to issues in the Benzie Area, but advocating for legislation and development of policies that will keep Benzie a beautiful place to live, work, and play.

The District’s purpose is to foster the best use of land for the present and future benefits of the community, based on the land’s capabilities and landowners goals. Combating soil erosion, managing surface and groundwater quality and promoting the maintenance of the lands related resources and the aesthetic values are vital to the community’s long range economic well being, from food and timber production to natural resources related industries and tourism. To these ends, the District strives to be a “gateway” to resource management information and service providers, so that citizens may manage their lands for a healthier Benzie County. The Benzie Conservation District provides information and assistance for all your conservation and environmental concerns.

The State of Michigan - Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) awarded $750.20 to the Benzie Conservation District in 2021 for stream cleanup and monitoring through the Michigan Clean Water Corps (MiCorps) Program and $2000.00 in maintenance grants.

The CLWA sustains a legacy of over fifty years of water quality testing, an invaluable body of data that both reassures our community of Crystal Lake’s essential health and also serves as an early warning of changes that must be addressed. Monitoring the condition of the lake and its surroundings remains at the core of CLWA’s purpose.

New issues continue to arise: swimmer’s itch, shoreline erosion, invasive species making their way to these waters, the need for long term planning. Practical action to address concerns is accompanied by sustained programs to enlist public awareness and involvement.

The CLWA’s mission remains the same as envisioned by its predecessors over a half century ago — preserving and protecting the beauty, natural qualities and recreational resources of Crystal Lake and its watershed on behalf of all its stakeholders throughout the region, now and for the future.

We focus our land conservation efforts on protecting crucial wildlife habitat and corridors, critical watersheds, unique high-quality farm lands, valuable forestland and ecologically significant dunes along Lake Michigan’s beautiful and endangered shore. We protect land in several ways:

  • By working with landowners to permanently protect private land through voluntary conservation easements
  • By acquiring high quality natural lands by purchase or donation to create Conservancy owned nature preserves, which are open to the public
  • By assisting local units of government in creating or expanding public parks and natural areas that result in enhanced public access to nature and improved recreational opportunities
  • By providing technical assistance to local units of government with the administration of farmland protection programs

We think about the area we serve in terms of watersheds, coasts, scenic transportation corridors and vital clusters of our region’s working farms and forests. By considering our community in this way, we are able to evaluate how certain land uses and protection efforts will impact the things our community values – access to our majestic shorelines; opportunities for hiking, birding, canoeing, biking, fishing and other outdoor activities; safe, clean water; respect for private property rights; and a healthy economy.

The State of Michigan - Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE) awarded $1730.00 to the Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy in 2021 for stream cleanup and monitoring through the Michigan Clean Water Corps (MiCorps) Program.

While these organizations task themselves with these issues all year long, we need to recognize those that stand in the gaps to offer services and events dedicated to keeping our Benzie Area a part of America's Most Beautiful Places.

Benzie Sunrise Rotary Club

Roadside Clean-Up Initiatives

Honor Area Restoration Project

River side Clean-Up Initiatives

Riverside Canoe Trips

River Clean-Up Initiatives

Friends of the Betsie Valley Trail

Trail side & River side Clean-Up Initiatives


Sleeping Bear Surf & Kayak

Beach and Lake Clean-Up Initiatives


Benzie Recycling

Community Recycling Initiatives

Friends of The Sleeping Bear Dunes

Trail side, Lake, and River Clean-Up Initiatives

NextCycle Michigan Initiative

Recently, the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy (EGLE), and Bi-Partisan Michigan Lawmakers have collaborated on the NextCycle Michigan Initiative.  As a member of the Michigan Chamber of Commerce, your Benzie Area Chamber of Commerce will be at the forefront of communication on area events, legislation, and community impact.

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