Grand Blanc to be part of Lost Lake preserve
GRAND BLANC TWP. — Southeast Michigan Land Conservancy (SMLC) and Six Rivers Land Conservancy (SRLC) announced today that the 538 acre Lost Lake property, located in Holly Township, Oakland County and Grand Blanc Township, Genesee County, has been acquired by Southeast Michigan Land Conservancy for natural areas preservation and public recreation.
The Southeast Michigan Land Conservancy purchased the property from the Nyland family who had owned the land since the 1950s, with the assistance of an anonymous donor (who provided the $1.1 million purchase funding) and Six Rivers Land Conservancy (which now holds a conservation easement on the property). After the closing, James T. Weiner, SMLC Board President, said:
“The Lost Lake Nature Preserve has the potential to become a key nature destination in southeast Michigan due to its location which is close to major urban areas including Oakland County and Flint. SMLC envisions a place where people can hike, bird-watch, and enjoy the views, and where we can maintain, enhance, and restore the preserve’s natural areas.”
The property’s most important feature is that it contains two freshwater lakes, Slack Lake (50 acres) and Bloat Lake (8 acres). The latter is undeveloped and is in pristine natural condition. It is also located entirely within the Flint Watershed and is part of both the Swartz Creek Subwatershed and Thread Creek Subwatershed. The Swartz Creek Subwatershed is comprised of over 82,000 acres and is one of the headwaters for the Flint River which flows into the Saginaw River, a Michigan Area of Concern.
The area is comprised of approximately 50% wetlands, 40% woods, and 10% open meadows and wildlife habitat includes the two lakes, wetlands, emergent marshlands, ponds, streams, open meadows and oak woodlands. It also contains old fields with possible remnant Oak Savanna — a locally rare and critically imperiled ecosystem in Michigan.
Among the typical wildlife are Sandhill Cranes and Great Blue Herons, who frequent the property with a variety of other wildlife. Gail Danto, Six River Land Conservancy’s Board President, stated, “We’re grateful to SMLC for choosing Six Rivers to partner with it in preserving this relatively unspoiled property so close to major populations. We look forward to working with SMLC to ensure that residents in southeast Michigan have natural landscapes in their own backyards.”
Six Rivers Land Conservancy acquired a conservation easement on the property at the same time the property was purchased by SMLC. This arrangement provides two layers of land protection and ensures that the property will always remain a natural area open to the public.
"We are thrilled to be a part of preserving this important property to benefit the region for generations to come. This project is hugely important, not only for its size, but also because it fits directly into the regional and State objectives to provide more accessible natural land where the majority of the State's population resides”, said Chris Bunch, Six Rivers Land Conservancy Executive Director.
Southeast Michigan Land Conservancy plans to establish the property as a nature preserve open to the public for passive recreation and on-site education. Hiking trails, scenic overlooks and demonstration sites will provide visitors with opportunities to enjoy a beautiful landscape while also learning about natural areas restoration. SMLC Executive Director, Jill A. Lewis, stated:
“The purchase of the Lost Lake Nature Preserve is a dream come true for SMLC. We are grateful to our donor and to Six Rivers Land Conservancy for agreeing to partner with us on this significant project. We are especially pleased to be able to provide a place where southeast Michigan residents can enjoy nature in a beautiful and serene setting while also protecting critical wildlife habitat and preserving valuable natural features including the lakes and wetlands.” — Compiled by Paula K. Schmidt
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