TOWNSHIP OF ALBÂTRE – The Township of Alabaster has secured funding to permanently protect nearly a mile of the Lake Huron shore with the help of the Huron Pines conservation organization. On Wednesday, December 1, the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund (MNRTF) recommended full funding of the proposed $ 1.7 million grant application. The money will allow Alabaster Township to purchase the 145-acre property in southern Iosco County for permanent protection and public use.
Huron Pines, a non-profit natural resource conservation and protection organization, purchased the property in 2020 on a temporary basis with a loan from the Conservation Fund. The Township of Alabaster will use the Trust Fund grant to purchase the Huron Pines property to create a lakeside township nature park. Huron Pines has worked closely with the Township over the past year to establish land management processes, raise funds for the property, gain public support and submit the grant proposal to the MNRTF.
MNRTF funds come from royalties on the sale and rental of state-owned minerals (mainly oil and gas). Over the past 45 years, the MNRTF has awarded more than $ 1.2 billion to state and local government units to develop and improve recreational opportunities in Michigan.
“We are thrilled for the community of Alabaster and all the people who love to come up north and enjoy Lake Huron,” said Huron Pines General Manager Brad Jensen. “This project has been a true partnership, with so many people and groups helping to ensure that funding was available to protect and enjoy this part of the coastline for generations to come.”
Huron Pines has been able to raise over $ 1 million through foundations, private funders and individual donors. The MNRTF’s requirement for local matching contributions will be met with funds from the Carls Foundation; Elizabeth, Allan and Warren Shelden Fund; Walters Family Foundation; John Woollam; The Albanian Family Fund; canton of alabaster; Donette and Gary Spiekerman and the many individual donors who gave in the public fundraising campaign.
“The Township of Alabaster is deeply committed to creating a quality destination reserve showcasing the unique shoreline of Lake Huron and the beautiful second-growth forest of nearly 100 years,” said Township Supervisor. ‘Alabaster, Stephanie Wentworth. “This is only a success because of our strong partnerships, the support of the public and our volunteers. We are delighted with all that 2022 has in store for us to create this public space. “
Now that the grant has been approved, the next step is to allocate the funds by the Michigan legislature in the spring of 2022. The goal is to transfer ownership of the property from Huron Pines to Alabaster Township by the end of 2022. The property is currently open to the public for hiking and exploring. Hunting and motorized vehicles are prohibited within the property. Cycling is authorized on the cycle path and the arboretum of the canton of Alabaster which crosses the property. The Township of Alabaster will continue to work closely with Huron Pines to finalize a management plan for the property that will include longer term plans to expand trails and improve access to Lake Huron.
For more information, contact Heather Huffstutler at Huron Pines, 989-448-2293 x11.
Huron Pines is a 501 (c) (3) non-profit organization established in 1973 to conserve and enhance northern Michigan’s natural resources to ensure healthy water, protected places, and vibrant communities. With offices in Gaylord and Alpena, Huron Pines enhances economic, environmental, educational and recreational opportunities in northern Michigan.
For the latest news and information on the Township of Alabaster, visit alabastertownship.com or call 989-362-3171.