ANN ARBOR, Mich., May 17, 2011 —
L-R: Oakland County Parks and Recreation Commission Executive Officer Dan Stencil, Ducks Unlimited Manager of Conservation Programs Jenifer Christman, and Oakland County Parks and Recreation Commission Chairman Gerald A. Fisher
The Oakland County Parks and Recreation Commission recently recognized Ducks Unlimited for its commitment to protect natural resources in Oakland County. The recognition took place during a commission meeting at Springfield Oaks County Park in Davisburg.
success came through a partnership of individuals and organizations. "It was really putting together pieces of a puzzle," said Jenifer Christman, DU manager of conservation.
OCPR was interested in purchasing the Upper Bushman Lake parcel in order to add to their existing Independence Oaks County Park. OCPR had secured the majority of their funding from a Michigan
Natural Resources Trust Fund grant, but the funding was just shy of the amount needed to close the deal. "That's where the Carls Foundation came in," Christman said. DU secured a grant from the Carls Foundation that bridged the purchase price of the Upper Bushman Lake parcel, and also covered the cost of the connector parcel between Bushman and Independence Oaks County Park.
It also gave the parks direct access to Sashabaw Road.
The groups ended up protecting more than 1,000 acres of contiguous habitat
in the headwaters of the Clinton River. The North Oakland Headwaters Land Conservancy is a partner in this effort, and hopes to protect additional lands in the area with conservation easements
"This was a real friendship-builder," Christman concluded. "When so many entities come together with conservation as a goal, it can only result in better habitat and improved recreation for local citizens. Everyone wins."
Ducks Unlimited is the world's largest non-profit organization dedicated to conserving North America's continually disappearing waterfowl habitats. Established in 1937, Ducks Unlimited has conserved more than 12 million acres thanks to contributions from more than a million supporters across the continent. Guided by science and dedicated to program efficiency, DU works toward the vision of wetlands sufficient to fill the skies with waterfowl today, tomorrow, and forever.