If you are a landowner who wishes to protect your land, you may wonder which of the programs in our region is the best fit for you and your land. Preserve Washtenaw can help you!
Preserve Washtenaw is a group of local land preservation groups that mees quarterly to help coordinate land protection efforts within Washtenaw County. By working together, we can make the best use of scarce resources, and help landowners throughout the county find the best fit for them and their land.
The purpose of Preserve Washtenaw is:
1) To serve as a coordinating body for ongoing public and private land protection efforts, ensuring the highest possible level of cooperation and communication, and least possible amount of duplication and overlap.
2) To provide a virtual single point of entry for landowners interested in land protection and/or stewardship.
3) Preserve Washtenaw is advisory in nature. Its goal is to serve as a forum for establishing common priorities where feasible, leveraging available public and private resources, facilitating communications between members, and providing a clearer path of entry to citizens seeking information on resources.
Who is Preserve Washtenaw? Preserve Washtenaw is an advisory body, which includes all public agencies and private organizations that acquire properties or conservation for the permanent protection of land resources in Washtenaw County. Member agencies and organizations include the following:
- Ann Arbor Township
- The City of Ann Arbor
- Legacy Land Conservancy
- Scio Township
- Southeast Michigan Land Conservancy
- Pittsfield. Township
- Raisin Valley Land Trust
- Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation Commission – Natural Areas Preservation Program
- Washtenaw County
- Webster Township
Legacy Land Conservancy
The first land trust established in Michigan, the Legacy Land Conservancy, (formerly known as the Washtenaw Land Trust) is a private, non-governmental, non-profit organization dedicated to protecting natural areas and farms in Washtenaw, Jackson, and Ingham counties. Since 1971, the Land Conservancy has worked with local property owners to protect 51 properties totaling 2,776 acres through voluntary land conservation. Land protection options with the Land Conservancy include conservation agreements (also known as conservation easements), purchase of development rights (PDR), donation of land for nature preserves, and more. The Land Conservancy provides free consulting and assistance to property owners to help them find the conservation solutions that best fit their needs.
Raisin Valley Land Trust
The mission of the Raisin Valley Land Trust is to preserve farms and natural areas in the River Raisin watershed. It has been in existence since 1992 and operates in the upper River Raisin watershed, including townships in Washtenaw, Lenawee, Jackson and Hillsdale. It holds 603 acres in conservation easements in 3 counties.
- Visit the RVLT web page at: http://www.rvlt.org
- Send e-mail questions to: firstname.lastname@example.org
- Leave a phone message at: 517-265-5599
- Mail Address:
1042 Sutton Rd, Suite 3
Adrian, MI 49287
Southeast Michigan Land Conservancy
Founded in 1988, the Southeast Michigan Land Conservancy (SMLC) is a not-for-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and stewardship of natural land and open space in the 7-county (Livingston, Macomb, Monroe, Oakland, St. Clair, Washtenaw, Wayne) southeast Michigan region. The Conservancy works to protect land by purchasing land, working with landowners to create conservation easement agreements, and by helping local government agencies with their land protection projects. We also monitor, maintain, and care for the land we protect through our stewardship projects, and we work to educate the community about the importance of land conservation in southeast Michigan. Through this work we conserve habitat for wildlife and preserve natural areas and places of scenic beauty for people to enjoy. http://www.smlcland.org/
City of Ann Arbor
City of Ann Arbor Greenbelt Program: In November 2003, the residents of Ann Arbor overwhelmingly voted in favor of the Open Space and Parkland Preservation Millage, also known as the Ann Arbor Greenbelt Program. The Open Space and Parkland Preservation Millage is a one-half mill, 30-year millage. A portion of the money is used to purchase new City parkland and a portion is used to protect land outside of the City, within the Greenbelt District. The Greenbelt District includes all of Ann Arbor Township and portions of Lodi, Scio, Webster, Northfield, Salem, Superior and Pittsfield Townships. The purpose of the Greenbelt Program is to protect working farmland and natural areas, as well as protecting land along the Huron River.
For more information, visit the City’s Greenbelt website at: www.ci.ann-arbor.mi.us/greenbelt/greenbelt.html
Ann Arbor Township
Ann Arbor Township's Farmland and Open Space Preservation Program was funded by voters in November, 2003, with a 20-year, 0.7 mill property tax. The program seeks to identify and protect high quality agricultural lands through the purchase of development rights and partnerships with private and public agencies. Applications are available at the township hall, 3792 Pontiac Trail, by contacting the office at (734) 663-3418 or click here for a pdf version of the application.
Pittsfield Township's Farmland Protection Program seeks to preserve privately owned agricultural properties adjacent to parklands and adjacent to lands that have already been protected by donation through the purchase of development rights and partnerships with private and public agencies. Applications are available at the township hall, 6201 W. Michigan Ave., by contacting the office at (734) 822-3120 or at http://pittsfieldtwp.org/boards/Natural_Resources_Commission/farmland
Scio Township's Land Preservation Program was funded by voters in November, 2004, with a ten-year, one-half mill property tax. The program seeks to identify and protect high quality natural and agricultural lands through the outright purchase of land, the purchase of development rights and partnerships with private and public agencies. Applications are available at the township hall, 827 N. Zeeb Rd., or by contacting the office at (734) 665-2123. Land Preservation Ordinance at http://www.twp.scio.mi.us/ordinances/landpreservation/Land%20Preservation.
Webster Township's Farmland and Open Space Preservation Program was funded by voters in August, 2005, with a five-year, one-half mill property tax. The program seeks to identify and protect high quality natural and agricultural lands through the purchase of development rights and partnerships with private and public agencies. Applications are available at the township hall, 5665 Webster Church Rd., by contacting the office at (734) 426-5103 or at http://twp.webster.mi.us/pdrapplicationl.htm.
Washtenaw County Natural Areas Preservation Program (NAPP)
Washtenaw County’s Natural Areas Preservation Program (NAPP) purchases unique natural areas to ensure their preservation for the benefit of all County residents—plants, animals and people! The Washtenaw County Parks & Recreation Commission manages the program, identifying and caring for lands with special ecological, recreational, and educational benefits.
The goal of the program is to identify lands which, through long-term preservation, will Protect and preserve the natural, ecological diversity/heritage of Washtenaw County; complement the existing network of publicly and privately protected lands; and maximize the public benefit
NAPP was established in 2000 by the Washtenaw County Board of Commissioners through the passage of Natural Areas Ordinance No. 128. The ordinance provides procedures and standards for purchase of natural areas by the County. It also called for the establishment of a citizens group to advise the Parks Commission. The Natural Areas Technical Advisory Committee (NATAC) is comprised of County residents with expertise in land trust/conservation, wildlife management, environmental education, real estate/development, land use planning, botany/forestry, and fisheries/aquatic ecology. The county-wide ¼ mill tax (millage) that funds the program will generate approximately $27.5 million during the period 2002-2011.
The NAPP nature preserves are open to the public from dawn until dusk daily.Washtenaw County Purchase of Development Rights (PDR) Program
The Washtenaw County Purchase of Development Rights (PDR) Program is a cooperative effort between Washtenaw County and participating Townships in Washtenaw County for making applications to the Michigan Agricultural Preservation Fund. The participating Townships include Bridgewater Township, Freedom Township, Lima Township, Lodi Township, Manchester Township, Northfield Township, Superior Charter Township, and York Charter Township. Washtenaw County holds application rounds that coincide with the application rounds held by the Michigan Agricultural Preservation Fund, which are usually held annually in the autumn dependent upon funds available for this statewide fund. All property owners who own land in a participating Township, and their land is located in the Agricultural Preservation Overlay Area according to A Comprehensive Plan for Washtenaw County, as amended, and meet the minimum criteria for selection according to the Washtenaw County Purchase of Development Rights Ordinance are invited to make an application to the program when an application round is being held.