Traverse City Record-Eagle

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March 9, 2013

Conservation, trail projects remain on track

TRAVERSE CITY — Legislation aimed at fixing Michigan’s shallow harbors also allocates money for significant conservation and trail projects in the Grand Traverse region, including $2 million to help buy a coveted parcel of land in Long Lake Township.

The $2 million expenditure contained in the Senate’s emergency dredging bill will help purchase the 250-acre Timbers Recreation Area. Long Lake Township and the Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy are on the verge of acquiring the property, which will allow public access to nearly 2,000 feet of frontage on Long Lake. The property also contains a 20-acre lake known as Fern Lake.

“It’s huge,” said Glen Chown, executive director of the conservancy. “It’s 10 minutes from downtown Traverse City and it will offer an array of recreational opportunities that are unmatched within that radius. Fern Lake, frontage on Long Lake and there’s lots of potential for trails.”

The township and conservancy still have to raise a little more than $800,000 to finalize the Timbers purchase.

The emergency dredging bill also allocates $375,000 for .76 acres adjacent to the Christmas Cove waterfront beach and park in Leelanau Township and $199,000 to develop approximately one mile of trail in Garfield Township.

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