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Conservancy without borders: Washtenaw Land Trust renamed Legacy Land Conservancy

While bureaucratic boundaries are important for politics, they are not heeded by ecosystems, landscapes, rivers or wildlife. Taking its cue from the landscape, the Washtenaw Land Trust has worked beyond the borders of Washtenaw County for years.

That reality is part of the impetus for a name change: The Washtenaw Land Trust is now the Legacy Land Conservancy.

Unveiled at a March local foods dinner in front of a sell-out crowd, the new name reflects the organization’s growth as a regional land protection organization serving southern Michigan, particularly Washtenaw and Jackson counties.

For example, one of the group’s top conservation priorities is to fill gaps in the Waterloo Recreation Area, a 20,000-acre public treasure that happens to be half in Jackson County and half in Washtenaw. Most recently, the group partnered with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources to add 25 acres to the recreation area in Jackson County on Reithmiller Road. The newly protected parcel features rolling hills and a dense, mixed hardwood forest. It is situated next to a nesting habitat for Henslow’s sparrows, a threatened species in Michigan.

“For 38 years, the Land Trust has protected the most valuable natural areas and farmland in our community. Those important lands don’t start or stop with county lines, and now neither does our name,” said Susan Lackey, Legacy Land Conservancy executive director.

To date, the organization has helped protect 337 acres in Jackson County. In addition to the increased conservation efforts in Jackson, the Legacy Land Conservancy will continue its enduring commitment to land protection in Washtenaw County, where it was established in 1971. An accredited land trust, the Legacy Land Conservancy has protected 3,756 acres of land throughout Washtenaw and Jackson counties.

For more information, visit www.legacylandconservancy.org or call (734) 302-5263.
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