From our 2011 Spring Newsletter
March 2011–It’s official! The Leelanau Conservancy took ownership this week of the 90-acre Sonny Swanson farm with its 2,000 feet of natural shoreline. “The Swanson Farm is both a well-loved landmark and critically important to the water quality of Little Traverse Lake,” says Director Brian Price. “Protecting the farm and the wetlands is a dream come true.” Since announcing the project last year, the Conservancy has raised $799,050 of the needed $900,000. “We had to tap into our Land Protection Fund to close on the project and meet the deadline,” says Price. “Donations are still needed and appreciated and will help us to move on to new land protection projects.”
Plans for the property are still being formulated. In February, the Conservancy met with prospective farmers to review proposals for restoring the historic farm to its former productivity. “Ideally we’d like to have someone working the land during the coming growing season,” says Price.
Also on tap for the property—future hiking trails for the public to enjoy. The Conservancy’s Wildflower Rescue group will also use a portion of the site to pot up and store its plants.
“We’re grateful to the 174 donors who stepped forward to make it happen,” says Price. “I think Sonny would approve of the steps have taken to protect this special place and to maintain the land as a viable agricultural site.”