In 1788, exactly two centuries before the Leelanau Conservancy was born, Scottish poet Robert Burns penned this time-honored verse. Auld Lang Syne is a favorite at our house at New Years because it invokes the warm remembrances of old friends, family, and times gone by. Now 200 years may seem like a long time compared to the two-and-a-half decades the Conservancy has been working to protect our beloved Leelanau. Yet, thanks to the tremendous support from you, our Conservancy community, the results of our collective and continuing efforts will last forever. Now there’s an inspiring thought!
It’s time to say goodbye to a stellar 2014 and hello to a new year full of promise. But before the rhythm of time beats on any farther, I’d like to pause and personally bid a fond farewell to someone who means a great deal to all of us. Many of you know that Brian Price officially retired as executive director on December 31st — a post he’s held since our very beginnings back in 1988. Now, 24 natural areas and preserves, 154 permanent conservation easements, 11,301 acres, and 42 miles of streams and shoreline later . . . well, we are awestruck. And for me, his are some exceptionally large shoes to fill.
What more can I say but a heartfelt thank you. We who cherish this special place—and all the generations to come who will have the chance to enjoy its loveliness too—are ever grateful to Brian for his vision, hard work, persistence, and most certainly his leadership. Quite simply, this man demonstrated the depths of his love for Leelanau by making good things happen. Yes, there will be plenty for me to say about our exciting work ahead in 2015 and beyond. I can assure you of that. But for the moment we’ll take that cup of kindness yet, Brian Price. Thank you for being a dear friend. Not just to me, but to Leelanau. Cheers!
Tom Nelson, Executive Director