Courtesy of the Northern Islander Newspaper
The J. A. Woollam Foundation, the Little Traverse Conservancy (LTC) and Jon and
Sally Fogg have joined forces to protect a large portion of Beaver Island. A 42-acre addition to the Barney’s Lake Preserve has been created. The preserve now totals 335 acres, 6,070 feet of Barney’s Lake, and 1,730 feet of Lake Michigan shoreline. Roughly 2.7 miles of trails are available throughout the preserve.
The Fogg’s contacted Beaver Island Realtor Ed Wojan about selling the property; they wanted him to contact John Woollams to see if he would buy it for LTC. “Jon and Sally have supported conservation for many years on Beaver Island, and this caps a wonderful history of land protection,” said Tom Bailey, the Conservancy’s Executive Director. Ed Wojan said, “The 42 acres is the very best part of the frontage on Barney’s Lake. Now nearly all of the lake is nature preserve.”
The original 120-acre Barney’s Lake Preserve was donated in 1988 by the O’Donnell family. Most of the land around Barney’s Lake was purchased in 1997 from the Marchmont-Robinson family trust by the Foggs, on a lead from Bailey. Jon and Sally built Deerwood Lodge, an upscale B&B. They sold Deerwood and 186 acres to the Scully family. The Scully’s worked with LTC to place a conservation easement on the land that will permanently protect it.
“This is a great addition to Beaver Island land open to public enjoyment” said Beaver Island Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Steve West. “A point of the property extends into Barney Lake near the lakes deepest spot making for perhaps the best island location for fishing from shore. The point affords a view of the whole lake and is ideal for observing birds and other aquatic related wildlife.”
In 2012, Terry and Bev Scully donated much of the land around Deerwood to the Conservancy. The donation grew the preserve to 293 acres and added a half mile of Barney’s Lake frontage along with 1,730 feet of Lake Michigan frontage.
Yet the land protection story was not yet finished. “The remaining 42 acres was always of concern, as Barney’s Lake is a prestigious setting, untouched, a rare unique place,” said Jon Fogg. “We decided to work with the LTC and the J. A. Woollam Foundation to preserve this additional piece of land for future generations.”
John Woollam said, “Barney’s Lake is a gorgeous lake and I am really pleased that an addition is being made to this beautiful preserve,”
“It behooves us, along with the LTC and Woollam Foundation to simply dedicate this addition to the Barney’s Lake Nature Preserve in memory of our daughter, Jennifer Anne Fogg,” said Jon Fogg. The Fogg’s daughter was tragically lost in an automobile accident in 1998.
“The formation and growth of this preserve is like so many of the properties we have protected over the years,” Bailey said. “So often it begins with a small but devoted group of people who fall in love with a piece of land and – above all – want those special qualities to be preserved for others to enjoy. We can only express gratitude for the generosity of spirit that comes into play with these land gifts.”
Editor’s Note: The LTC’s Anne Fleming contributed most of this report. Ed Wojan assisted with historical information and land measurements.