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E-M:/ Conservancy Update

Enviro-Mich message from Smileysmlc@aol.com

Short notice, but we will be painting the barn, once again, on Sunday, 
October 2, from 1 to 4 p.m.  We would like to at least finish the front of the barn 
this year--it's starting to look good!  If a few people RSVP that they will 
attend, we will plan to order pizza.  (Come paint the barn and you won't have to 
suffer through another Lions game!)  ; )


As you know, we've been doing quite a bit of work on the farm house and barn 
this year.  We moved our office from Ann Arbor to the farm house at the end of 
July--come out and visit sometime.  We recently hired Wendy Pellerito to be 
our new Office Manager, and we moved Scott Tyrrell into a full time position as 
our Volunteer and Stewardship Coordinator.  Since we have grown so much as an 
organization, with over 1,700 acres of protected land to oversee, we are 
presently investigating other staffing needs to enable us to make an even greater 
impact in southeast Michigan.

When we bought our 143-acre million-dollar farm in Superior Township a couple 
of years ago, we did what most people do when they buy a house:  we borrowed 
money.  We used a Land Contract to finance a portion of the purchase, and 35 
members and groups stepped forward to loan us some short-term financing.  
Without their help, we would not have been able to purchase this property and it 
likely would now be sprouting houses instead of farm crops!

I am pleased to announce that we have made some good progress in paying off 
the farm.  This year, we paid off the Land Contract and now hold the deed to 
the farm!  We have also paid off about 30 of the 35 unsecured loans, and are 
down to owing $290,000.  This still is a significant amount, but given our 
successful track record we feel this is very manageable.  (Note: we are still open 
to receiving loans to refinance some of which we owe.  Please contact me if you 
are interested.)

We continue to host a variety of enjoyable family events.  Our LeFurge Woods 
Full Moon Campfires are probably our most popular events.  September's 
campfire was spectacular, as the full moon glistened through the mist rising above 
the golden-hued fields.  Our next campfire will be on Saturday, October 15.  
Plan to join us.  You are also welcome to spend the night camping--all for free!

Recent field trips to Sibley Prairie and Humbug Marsh were well attended.  
The prairie wildflowers were at their peak, and a variety of migrating warblers 
were found in the woods at Humbug Marsh--along with many terns and waterfowl 
in the marsh portion.  Our nature tours are a great way to experience the 
outdoors.  Come out and see what you can discover.

As always, we thank you very much for your support of the Southeast Michigan 
Land Conservancy.  It is only through your support that we are able to save 
these special places for future generations--and for your enjoyment, too!

Jack Smiley
Southeast Michigan Land Conservancy

Please note our new address and phone number:
Southeast Michigan Land Conservancy
8383 Vreeland Road
Superior Township, MI  48198

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