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Groups seek to preserve Lake Huron shoreline

TAWAS – Alabaster Township and Huron Pines are launching a public fundraising campaign to garner financial support and raise awareness to ensure the permanent protection of nearly a mile of Lake Huron shoreline south of Tawas City.

The 145-acre property, which will be named, “Lake Huron Coastal Preserve,” was taken off the real estate market in 2020 when it was purchased by Huron Pines with a short-term loan. Now, Huron Pines and Alabaster Township are working together to raise the funds necessary to turn the property into a public nature preserve owned in perpetuity by Alabaster Township and supported by the stewardship of Huron Pines.

“With growing demand for Northern Michigan real estate, we are more convinced than ever that this land would have been purchased for commercial or residential development if we hadn’t been able to act quickly and secure a loan for the property,” said Brad Jensen, executive director of Huron Pines. “Now we’re working to secure permanent protection, and public support is going to make all the difference in our success.”

Huron Pines and Alabaster Township have raised just over $1million so far, but additional funds are needed to reach the $2.5M total cost to cover the purchase price of the property and to establish an endowment to pay for maintenance and stewardship of the land.

Alabaster Township submitted a grant proposal to the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund in April to purchase the property from Huron Pines, but Trust Fund support is not guaranteed, and a final decision won’t be made until December of this year.

Huron Pines and Alabaster Township are mobilizing local, regional, and statewide support to strengthen the case that coastal land protection and Lake Huron access are a priority for the public and that this property is a critical asset to the region.

“We want to see this property become a place for the public to experience nature and enjoy Lake Huron,” said Stephanie Wentworth, Alabaster Township Supervisor. “Every dollar we raise helps us build a future for the property that protects it from development and supports future opportunities like new trails and better, safer public access points.”

Supporters of the Lake Huron Coastal Preserve are encouraged to give donations at any level to show future investors the overwhelming public support for the property. People can learn more and donate at huronpines.org/lakehuron.

For the latest Alabaster Township news and information visit alabastertownship.com or call 989-362-3171.

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