Page 1

ISSUE 3, 2014

(left to right) Rick Meeks, Kristen Hanna, Anne Meeks, Centennial Farm owner Steve Gardner (and his dog, Ida), HeadWaters Land Conservancy Executive Director Laura Justin, Janice Balcom, Heart of the Lakes Center for Land Conservation Policy Associate Director Julie Stoneman, Bruce Balcom, Conservation Easement Donor Gary Neuman, HeadWaters Land Conservancy Chairman John Dallas, Southeast Michigan Land Conservancy Executive Director Jill Lewis, Jim Bischoff and Higgins Lake Foundation Board Chair Vicky Springstead.

Michigan Centennial Farm BY PAUL KOGELSCHATZ



oscommon, MI – Steve Gardner a lifelong Michigan farmer has granted a permanent Conservation Easement on 240 acres of his family’s Centennial Farm. The property consists of prime, productive agricultural land. The recently certified Centennial Farm designation recognizes that the farm has been in the Gardner family for more than 100 years and is still being actively farmed. The primary purpose of the Conservation Easement is to protect the agricultural soils, the viability, and the productive capacity of the farm in perpetuity. A Conservation Easement permanently limits uses of the land in order to protect its conservation values. It allows landowners to continue to own and use their land, and they can also sell it or pass it on to their heirs. Just as every piece of land is unique, so is every conservation easement. The terms of each easement are tailored to the specific characteristics of each property.

While this farm will remain privately owned, the preservation of the Gardener Farm yields a significant public benefit. The perpetual protection of the air, water, land, and other natural resources from pollution, subdivision, and destruction will act as a positive demonstration for the area and will support future farmland preservation projects in the community. The Gardner Farm also contains wetland areas that provide habitat for aquatic wildlife and emergent plants. Located within the Muskegon

River watershed and more locally, the Houghton and Higgins Lake watershed, the perpetual protection of the property helps to ensure the quality and quantity of water resources for the Houghton Lake, Higgins Lake, and Muskegon River watersheds. HeadWaters Land Conservancy is responsible for making sure the easement’s terms are followed. This is managed through our annual volunteer stewardship monitoring program. Steve and HeadWaters have made a commitment to each other, to these 240 acres and all it provides to the community. The Centennial Gardner Farm Conservation Easement was made possible by the generous support of The Americana Foundation, who believe in the support of educational and advocacy programs that address the preservation of American agriculture, the conservation of natural resources, and the protection and presentation of expressions of America’s heritage.



Sporting Clay Shoot FUNDRAISER With your support we raised over $10,000 benefitting local conservation efforts!

We are grateful for the generous support of our station sponsors as well as those who have donated goods towards the silent auction and prize packages. Thank you... Monarch Welding & Engineering Future Benefits Gaylord Eye Care North Star Natural Resources Services Deep Woods Lodge Sheridan Valley Homes Nolans Tobacco Rygwelski’s IGA Prow’s Auto Repair & Towing Parrot’s Outpost Huron Veterinary Clinic Mainstream Restaurant Grayling Veterinary Adrian’s Sport Shop Sunrise Gardens Montmorency County Conservation Club Rich Wimmer Jake Shinners Don Inman & Virginia Pierce Lynn Marla Jim Mayer The Supina Family

Thank You to all

ISSUE 3, 2014

of our Sponsors!




natural aesthetic of the preserve there is a limited number of benches to be placed. For more information on how you can Adopt-a-Bench call Paul at the HeadWaters office at 989-731-0573.

Big Bucks-to-be...


he Sturgeon River Preserve is a wonderful place for people of all ages to unplug from their daily routine and reconnect with nature. The HeadWaters Land Conservancy Adopt-aBench program offers a creative way to memorialize a loved one or to promote your business, while making the Sturgeon River Preserve an even more beautiful place. Memorial benches will provide visitors to the preserve with a nice resting area along the path allowing trail users to relax, enjoy the moment, and take in the breathtaking scenery. The cost to a adopt a bench is $1,400; this covers the manufacture and installation of the bench with a commemorative plaque, as well as maintenance for the life of the bench. What better way to honor a loved one or promote your business than with an engraved plaque mounted on one of these beautiful benches? All sponsorships are tax-deductible to the fullest extent of the law. In keeping with

ISSUE 3, 2014

Find the



eocaching is a real-world, outdoor treasure hunting game using a GPS device (handheld GPS unit or GPS-enabled smartphone) played by people around the world. Participants navigate to a given set of latitude and longitude coordinates, then attempt to find the cache (container) hidden at that location. Geocaches can vary greatly in size and appearance—they can be anything from a 5-gallon bucket to a film canister. HWLC recently hid two geocaches at the Sturgeon River Preserve that are registered with the official geocaching website, To find

the coordinates for the caches at the preserve, go to, and type in Vanderbilt, MI where it says “Search for Nearby Geocaches.” HWLC’s caches are called SRP #2 and SRP #4. Searching for geocaches near your home might help you find a cool new trail or park that you wouldn’t have known about otherwise! HWLC hid the geocaches at the Sturgeon River Preserve to encourage people to visit the preserve and hike the trails, and it seems to be working! A few users have posted their finds online, we find new signatures in the cache logs every week!

ONLINE COMMENTS This is an awesome hiking area! The trip around this area was real nice and I took a little time to look at the river. The weather was perfect this morning about 60 degrees. I wasn't sure if I was FTF because of other signatures in the log but maybe it had been used in another location previously. It's a real nice cache and I found it in good shape. I'm sure that everyone will enjoy this trip around this area and the hunt as I did, thanks!

My second find in this area today. The hike through this area is very enjoyable and relaxing. I'm sure everyone will enjoy this hiking loop. The cache is in good shape and located well. Thanks for placing these caches in an area I wasn't aware of previously. I'm putting a favorite on this one but both are excellent!

Great preserve. Found both caches. Thank you to HeadWaters Land Conservancy! Whomever marked out your trails did a wonderful job. I'll return. PHOTO BY: MARGARET AND TONY FELDHUS



Paddling the Au Sable The Sons of Neptune


simple phone call thanking Alan and Audrey Maag for their support turned into quite a story. Audrey let the cat out of the bag when she mentioned that Alan was part of an Au Sable canoe group named the Sons of Neptune. Really, we said? Please tell us more!

And so they did. With the help of Alan and Bill Mouch, I learned about a very cool tradition that started 39 years ago. In 1975, the original three “sons” started a post Memorial weekend ritual that continues to this day. There were eventually as many as 24 paddlers on the journey, many of them traveling from Toledo. It all begins at Penrod’s Livery on Friday afternoon. The guys paddle to the first site, Canoe Camp,

and enjoy their evening together eating brats and “river beans”. Meals were prepared by Cookie (Marty), who was a founding member. Saturday brings a full day of paddling, enjoying the beauty and wildlife of the Au Sable. Bill keeps a supply of cold beer with him to offer fishermen they see along the way. Saturday’s camp is always made at Rainbow’s Bend and is a night of celebration, stories and a steak dinner. Over the years, many members have earned nicknames like Gucci, Rambo, Cookie and Zeke. You can just imagine the teasing and tall tales that are told around the fire. 2015 will be the 40th year on the river for this intrepid group. Cookie came up with the name, Sons of Neptune, and it really suits these fun guys. They even have their own logo, t-shirts, and at one time, a bus. As Bill described it, “the bus was actually pretty old and dangerous. It looked like we were on work release from prison!” With all the laughs and great memories, there’s also the sad reality that comes with the march of time. Cookie and several other members have passed away. Alan is one of the youngest members of the group and he is now in his 60’s. It can

be bittersweet but the group paddles on and celebrates the past and present. There are so many great stories, including a fly-over by a squad of A-10’s during a Crown Royal toast to Cookie’s memory. We don’t have room to share them all but I wanted to close with a few things that Bill told me. “We love this trip and the river so much. We can’t wait to go back every year and see the unbelievable beauty of the Au Sable. There is so much camaraderie, so many memories and traditions.” When I asked Bill why he loves the Au Sable, he told me something so simple and beautiful… “That’s where I get back to myself.”

ISSUE 3, 2014







onservation easements are one of the most powerful, effective tools available for the permanent conservation of private lands in the United States. The use of conservation easements has successfully protected millions of acres of wildlife habitat and open space, keeping land in private hands and offering significant public benefits. Together land trusts in Michigan have protected nearly 600,000 acres and counting. HeadWaters Land Conservancy is proud to offer landowners the expertise and tools needed to protect significant land throughout northeast Michigan. With each and every acre we protect we are strengthening the collective efforts of land conservancies throughout the state, while protecting the “Up North” we all enjoy. It is with great pride that we announce the addition of our 81st conservation easement, the Shaw Conservation Easement. With over 1,000 feet of undeveloped frontage on the North Branch of the Au Sable River, a State designated “Natural River,” the Shaw easement property provides a vital corridor for wetland and upland wildlife. These corridors serve as a connection for wildlife movement and create a natural “greenway.” The property also includes significant habitat in which fish, plants and the ecosystems that support them thrive in a natural state. The close proximity to State of Michigan forest land with similarly natural character helps connect the landscape, preserving the existing habitat and scenic views. For more information on how you can share in the tradition of preserving land in northern Michigan contact HeadWaters Land Conservancy at (989) 731-0573.



SHOW YOUR SUPPORT! Order your HeadWaters T-Shirts Today! $30.00 each or 2 for $50.00 and we will ship to your home! FEEL GOOD ABOUT WHERE YOUR MONEY GOES! Proceeds from your purchase will go toward our efforts to preserve and protect Michigan’s irreplaceable lands. Call 989-731-0573 to place your order.

We are so proud to welcome... our former AmeriCorps member Libby Benjamin into her new staff position as the HeadWaters Land Conservancy Land Protection Specialist. With Libby’s attention to detail and passion for conservation in northern Michigan she is a valuable asset to our team. PHOTO BY: PAUL KOGELSCHATZ

ISSUE 3, 2014

Families enjoy I a fall hike AT STURGEON RIVER PRESERVE

t was a chilly and wet fall morning, but families and children braved the weather to join HWLC and Kids Outdoors Otsego for a hike and scavenger hunt at the Sturgeon River Preserve. Kids Outdoors Otsego is a local volunteer group that encourages parents to get outside with their children and enjoy activities in a natural setting. Outdoor activities are not only fun and good exercise, but they also help young children learn about and appreciate the natural environment, develop curiosity, observation and problem-solving skills and increase their ability to focus. Parents and their children joined Libby Benjamin, HWLC Land Stewardship Coordinator, to hike the trails looking for elk rubs, mushrooms, and woodpecker holes. They also walked down to the banks of the Sturgeon River, which was running high and fast after a week of rain. Sam Cornelius and Nancie Kersey from Kids Outdoor Otsego greeted us back at the trailhead with hot apple cider. It was a great way to spend a morning, and the diversity at the Sturgeon River Preserve really encourages children to be curious and ask questions about their surroundings.


Directions to the Sturgeon River Preserve 3749 Whitmarsh Rd. Vanderbilt, MI 49795 FROM GAYLORD, MI: • Travel north on Old 27 for 6 miles • Turn east on Whitmarsh Road and travel 3 miles, and the preserve will be on the right hand side of the road. FROM I-75/VANDERBILT, MI: • Travel south on Old 27 for 5 miles • Turn east on Whitmarsh Road and travel 3 miles, and the preserve will be on the right hand side of the road.

Thank YOU…


dedicated service to HWLC and to the AmeriCorps Program


Jerry Smith, Barbara & Jim Kurbel, Glen Eberly, Elaine Carlson, Gary Neumann, Joe Jarecki, Jim Supina, John Dallas, Mike Mang, & Libby Benjamin



and grooming the trails at the Sturgeon River Preserve and also installing trail markers and birdhouses throughout the preserve.


Annual Appreciation Gathering at the Otsego County Alternative Landscaping Demonstration Garden. Jo Gallico-Knox for hand painting the beautiful wine glasses.

JOHN DALLAS, JIM SUPINA, VIRGINIA PIERCE, DON INMAN, MARTHA & GLEN EBERLY, AND MIKE MANG for all their dedicated work toward the 2014 2nd Annual Hotshots for HeadWaters Sporting Clay Shoot.



THE LEWISTON SPORTSMEN’S LEAGUE for hosting the 2nd Annual Hotshots for HeadWaters Sporting Clay Shoot.


for helping to rebuild the stairs at the Sturgeon River Preserve.


helping with our Fall Family Nature Hike & Geocache Event.


Supina, Jerry Smith, Joe Jarecki, Elaine Carlson, & John Arevalo.

*Please contact HeadWaters with any errors or omissions.

ISSUE 3, 2014




Watershed Guardians

The Following Gifts were given between October 15, 2013 to October 15, 2014.

J.A. Woollam Foundation Huron Pines


River Guardians

Herbert Bensinger Big Creek Lodge Tom Clark Fredrick Heine Anthony & Margaret Feldhus James & Jan Fitzpatrick Roger Holliday & Claudia Fischer Joseph & Judith Jarecki Jay’s Sporting Goods Robert and Emily Kemnitz Allen Lavigne Montmorency Conservation Club Gordon & Vernie Nethercut Kip & Wendy Petherick Roger Rasmussen Karen Roy Sheridan Valley Homes Jake Shinners

($10,000 and Up)

($5,000 – $9,999)

John & Jane Dallas Saginaw Basin Land Conservancy Jim & Christine Supina

Stream Guardians

($1,000 – $4,999) Barbara Armento David & Mary Billmire Community Financial Glen & Martha Eberly Doug & Sandra Elser Feeny Chrysler Jeep Dodge Don Inman & Virginia Pierce Jim Knox & Jo Gallico Keith Krause Mary Oakley Stephen & Charlotte Qua David Replogle Weyerhaeuser Rick Wilde Neil Wilkinson Robert & Clarice Williams Richard & Audrey Wilson Rich Wimmer Desiree Worthington Moritz & Barbara Zeigler

Spring Guardians ($500 – $999)

Joanne Baron Mark Bayer Chemical Bank Dr. Cliff & Carolyn Colwell William & Linda Demmer Bill and Pat Duncanson Michael & Rosemary Gibson Beach & Marianne Hall Daniel & Mazie Havens Neil & Mary Hodges Paul & Carol Rose Jeffress-Dyer, Inc. Bob and Bette Jordan Carol Latsch Mike & Lucy Mang Gary Neumann Rev. Roland Schaedig Greg & Jane Stecker Muriel Straight Simon Yoder

($250 – $499)

Donor List

Nancy Adams William and Charlotte Adams Peter and Mary Albertson Bill & Debi Anderson Terry Anderson Dick and Marilyn Bachelor Lori Beale Loraine and Carlyle Becker Douglas & Julie Begick Bensinger Cotant & Menkes, P.C. Roland & Carol Bernbeck Robert & Julia Borak Charles & Nedra Borders Brady Borycki Robert and Margaret Boshoven David & Carol Bricker Arlin & Helen Briley Jason & Terri Brodkey William & Jane Brooks Michael Bugbee Robert & Dale Burnett Donald & Adair Calder Bob Carlson Tom & Elaine Carlson Martin Carpenter John & Patricia Carver Marilyn Case Gwen Cassis Ned Caveney Rev. Brian Chase Jan Chapman John and Marjorie Compton Roseann Comstock

Doug & Sally Cook Dave Cowper Richard Crawford Daughters of the American Revolution Rob DePierre Rick Deuell Dolores Drath Trust Mike & Darlene Dombrowski Carolyn Duncanson Patrick Dwyer David Eberly Emmett’s Energy Kathleen Fay Roger and Mary Fechner Mark & Carol Marston – Foucher Dr. & Mrs. Eduardo Garcia Gaylord Eye Care Center, Inc. Bernadette & Kenneth Glowski Timothy & Sandra Graham Lorne & Shirley Greenwood Ken & Elizabeth Gribble Teresa Grunzweig Joe Guild Pete and Ginny Gustafson Bill & Charyl Haelewyn Dicran Haidostian, Future Benefits Laura & Greg Hause Hayes Insurance Agency, Inc. Russell Hehir Jay and Peggy Heilman Arnot & Cathy Heller Dr. George Hess, Jr. Darlene Higgins Barry Hill Robert & June Hill Wes Hills Michael & Annette Holbrook Carl and Meg Holcomb, Jr. Hudson and Margaret Holland Jr. Joseph Hudson Jr. Huron Veterinary Clinic, Inc. Kenneth Ide Theresa Jatkowski Tom Jennings Jerry & Joyce Johnston Curtis Justin Sr. Edward Kania Leigh & Paul Konwinski Robert Kruch Ed & Claudia Kulnis James & Barbara Kurbel William & Marietta Kusey Nancy Lemmen Jean Leonard Jim & Rose Lichtenberg

Andrea Locke Alan Maag James Mayer Len Mazur Dan & Cheryl McCormick Rick McQueen Anne & Rick Meeks Stan & Ruth Ann Mersino Frederick Miller & Grace Hedeman Hane Dr. Peter Miller Charles & Linda Mires Michael & Kristine Mol Monarch Welding & Engineering Robert & Cynthia Morgner John & Sally Morley Sue Morley William Nash Diane Navarre & Alan Stachowiak Douglas and Patrice Neal Mary Neal Kevin & Cathy O’Neil Carol Ohlmacher Tom Ohman Gary Orr Raietta Ott Nancy Paramenter Kenneth Payette Donald & Dorothy Peacor James Peters James Peterson Merrill “Pete” Petoskey Donald Pitcher Janice Porter Frank Proulx Tad Randolph James & Rhonda Rasmussen Gilbert & Grace Rice Dawn Richards Joseph & Joletta Richert Barbara Ro Patricia Robinson Steve Rogge Carol Roose Michael & Leslie Scalise Raymond Schaffart

Joan Scheel Daniel & Susan Schneel Connie Schrieber & Eric Bankhead Darcy Schultz Michial See Tom and Jacqueline Seeley Brad & Jill Seitzinger Dr. Steve Sella Joan Shively Dave & Susan Smethurst Jerry & Linda Smith Robert Smith Bill & Charity Steere Ronald & Yvonne Steffens Ruth Stenglein Peter Stephens Jerry Szpondowski Clifford Taylor Dr. Sylvia Taylor Robert Tompkins Robert & Marge Trapp Donald & Jo Ann VanderMolen Chris & Diane Vanhoeck Bill Walker Walker Brothers Truck & Trailer John & Sue Walters Margaret Ward Terry Warrington R. Scott Webb Ruth Webster Anna Weiser James Marilyn Welser Werth Development, LLC Susan & John Yun

The following memorial gifts were given to honor or remember members of our community. In Honor of Bill Duncanson In Remembrance Richard Kiessling In Remembrance of Arthur & Loraine Mains In Remembrance of Jim Williams


HeadWaters Land Conservancy 110 South Elm Avenue Gaylord, MI 49735 989-731-0573

Recycle your newsletter ~ Pass it on! Printed on Recycle Paper with Vegetable-Based Inks



of Trustees John Dallas, Chairman Jim Supina, Vice Chairman Virginia Pierce, Treasurer Martha Eberly, Secretary Mike Mang Dr. Don Inman, Director Emeritus Stephen Qua, Director Emeritus Roger Rasmussen, Director Emeritus

It was probably the best advice our parents ever gave us. Go, get out of the house, run around outside! Most likely, we were being told to go outdoors because we were driving our parents crazy. Regardless of the reasons, it was the very best thing we could do for ourselves and them. Now we’re all grown up and there isn’t anyone telling us what to do. We hunker down in front of our computers, work at our desks, and sit in front of the television. All this indoor activity has led to well publicized health problems. We become separated from our natural world and feel disconnected from the woods and water, the fields and hills. We need someone to tell us to go outside and play! Maybe the word play makes us feel silly as adults but that word means many things to me. I look at people like Steve Gardner of The Gardner Farm and it feels like he incorporates play into much of the work he does as a farmer. Steve and Ida the dog range all over his 240 acre conservation easement and beyond, tending to “the girls” and the pasture lands they all rely on. There is rarely a day that Steve doesn’t see or experience something beautiful on his land. And Steve would tell you there is nothing in the world he would trade for all the time he spends outdoors.


When I first came to HeadWaters, just over three years ago, meeting all the volunteers, committee members, CE donors and the Board was truly an eye-opening experience. I had never worked with such a “mature” group of people who were so fit, fun and playful! I was never even close to guessing anyone’s age, always underestimating by at least 10 years. The Fountain of Youth all these people share is the same… the outdoors. From fly fishing to hunting to hiking, they do it all. I have been put to shame many times, listening to their epic adventures compared to my mini-excursions. These are folks who rarely watch television, lack Wi-Fi, and only occasionally answer a cell phone. They are an incredibly happy group. The mission of HeadWaters Land Conservancy is to protect and preserve the wild lands of northeast Michigan and to foster an appreciation of the natural world. There is nothing I can think of that could be more important than this. In the very simplest of terms, we want to make sure you always have a place to go outside and play. So get out there and breathe it in with your eyes, and your lungs, and your soul, because the great outdoors is where our deepest happiness lies, waiting for each of us.

Headwaters Land Conservancy Winter 2014 Newsletter  
Headwaters Land Conservancy Winter 2014 Newsletter