In an effort to protect land and water quality while connecting people to nature, the Top of Michigan Mountain Bike Association (TOMMBA) is raising funds for the Boyne School Forest Expansion project.
So far, $8,839 of the $141,161 needed has been raised.
With a goal of 140 acres of public access conserved by the Walloon Lake Trust and Conservancy in Evangeline Township, the fundraising effort continues until Mar 31.
The Walloon Lake Trust and Conservancy is raising funds to purchase property that will become a conservancy preserve in the Boyne School Forest corridor.
This land, situated directly between Boyne School Forest land and City of Boyne City land, plays a vital role in protection of habitat and forested land in the Walloon Lake Watershed.
It also presents an opportunity to build trail connections from the existing Boyne School Forest trails through to the City of Boyne City property.
The conservancy is teaming up with TOMMBA to make this vision a reality.
This fundraising campaign will assist the Conservancy with the purchase of this 40-acre parcel and for trail building start-up costs.
Priority number one is to complete the purchase of the property by April 1, by raising $105,000.
Once the purchase is complete, the Conservancy will enter into an agreement with TOMMBA for trail-building and trail maintenance and they hope to raise an additional $50,000 to jump-start this process.
This new preserve will protect the hilly landscape around Walloon Lake, keeping it wooded and wild. Woodlands have enormous water quality benefits for the water bodies around them. These special places also make enjoyable places for sustainably built hiking and biking trails.
What’s at stake?
Creating a preserve here is the only way trail expansion could happen.
Because the property was listed for sale, there is a very real possibility of 1 or more homes being built—the lots are ready for development.
Homes, driveways and associated development on these steep hillsides will contribute to runoff toward the lake, adding unwanted nutrient pollution to Walloon Lake.
Any development here will immediately halt the expansion of a trail network and will necessitate building two separate loops which is less desirable.
Long trails with multiple loops and experiences are what drive people to visit and keep coming back to preserves and trails.
To help support this project, go to https://conservewith.us and click on “explore projects.”