Glen Chown is the Founder and Executive Director of the Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy.  The Conservancy is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that serves Antrim, Benzie, Grand Traverse, Kalkaska and Manistee Counties.
The Conservancy was founded in 1991 with a $150,000 grant from Rotary Charities.  Since then the Conservancy has raised more than $250,000,000 and has protected more than 44,000 acres of land and 128 miles of critical shoreline.
Much of the Conservancy's activity has been in Benzie and northern Manistee Counties, including the Arcadia Dunes acquisition that involved 6,000 acres on Lake Michigan.  More recently the Conservancy completed the Arcadia Marsh preserve, protecting (and improving) one of the last coastal wetlands.  The project has received awards for its design and construction, and it is one of the top ten birding areas in the state.
When the conservancy acquires property, it is always from a willing seller.  At places such as the Arcadia Dunes Overlook, the Conservancy provides universal access for all.
Ongoing projects within Benzie County include:
  • Platte River Park outside Honor
  • Elberta Beach
  • Charlie Kehr Memorial Trail Connector
  • Railroad Point Addition
  • Lower Woodcock Lake Preserve west of Lake Ann
  • Embayment Lakes
  • Mount Minnie, which includes 1,600 feet of frontage on Little Platte Lake
We are fortunate indeed to have the Conservancy in our midst to protect and preserve the natural features that brought us to this area.