Photo by MArk Constance
Photo by MArk Constance

HUBBARD LAKE- This summer, conservation nonprofit Huron Pines celebrated the grand opening of the Hubbard Lake Nature Preserve located at 720 Holiday Inn Road in Hubbard Lake. The event marked the official public opening of the preserve. Residents and visitors are now able to visit the preserve daily from dawn to dusk to hike, explore and enjoy nature.

The celebration included trail hikes on the newly open Lookout Loop, an invasive species information station, animal track rubbing for kids and a welcome address by Huron Pines Executive Director, Brad Jensen.

Alcona Community Schools received an Impact Award at the event for supporting the Hubbard Lake Nature Preserve with a student fundraising campaign. The award was presented to school superintendent Dan O’Connor by Huron Pines Marketing Director, Colby Chilcote.

Dan and the Alcona Community School students and staff were immediately on board to support the Hubbard Lake Preserve in any way they could. In fact, the high school marketing teacher, Aimee Renchenski turned fundraising into a marketing project for her class,” explained Chilcote. “The students were able to sell over $800 of Huron Pines t-shirts and sweatshirts in support of the preserve.”

Huron Pines acquired the Hubbard Lake Nature Preserve as a donation from the owners, John and Wendy Frye, in the summer of 2018. The Fryes enjoyed the property as a home for several years until job opportunities took them elsewhere. While they kept the property and visited it for hunting camps and family celebrations, they had a sense that the property could have an even greater purpose.

“Our thinking kind of evolved. If we really wanted to protect the property and also make it available, then a preserve was the best way to do it,” Wendy Frye explained. “Now more than ever, people need a place to go to be inspired and quieted by nature.”

Upcoming events at the preserve include an August invasive species workshop, a September open run and yoga cool down and an October watercolor class taught by artist-in-residence Sarah Tule. Learn more about the preserve and the upcoming events at huronpines.org/hubbard-lake.

Huron Pines is still actively seeking funding to continue long-term monitoring, stewardship, maintenance and programming at the preserve. So far, Huron Pines has raised over $40,000 to support initial programming, create public parking, clear trails and install signs. All of this has been possible with donations from residents and supporters from across the state, fundraising efforts by the Alcona Community Schools and grants from Great Lakes Fishery Trust, The Carls Foundation, Besser Foundation, PIE& G, and Community Foundation of Northeast Michigan’s Women’s Giving Circle Fund.

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