Using capital from this resource, the Fund provides technical assistance and bridge financing to nonprofit land trusts working to preserve resources within the Great Lakes Basin, the nation’s most significant freshwater ecosystem.

Because the average wait for public funds or private fundraising campaigns is 18 to 24 months, the bridge funding provided by the loan fund can make a tremendous difference. In the case of many of the GLRLF projects, homes most likely would have been build on the property and the biological, scenic and public access resources would have been lost forever.

How Does Financing Work?

Short-term loans are made to public agencies and nonprofit land trusts for the conservation of coastal and freshwater sites of high ecological significance. Fund are available for two primary types of transactions: direct loans to land trusts and advance purchase of land on behalf of public agencies and/or nonprofits.

Loans from the GLRLF have helped to protect places including:

  • Seven Mile Point, Michigan. Partner: North Woods Conservancy
  • Tip of the Keweenaw, Michigan. Partner: The Nature Conservancy
  • Crystal River, Michigan. Partner: The Leelanau Conservancy
  • Maple Bay Farm, Michigan. Partner: Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy
  • Lake Erie Bluffs State Park, Pennsylvania. Partner: Western Pennsylvania Conservancy
  • North Bass Island, Ohio. Partner: Ohio Department of Natural Resources
  • Sleeping Bear Dunes, Michigan. Partner: Leelanau Conservancy, Michigan Department of Natural Resources
  • Oak Savannah Trail Greenway, Indiana. Partner: Lake Heritage Parks Foundation
  • Mystery Valley, Michigan. Partner: Michigan Karst Conservancy
  • Upper Manitou Forest, Minnesota. Partner: The Nature Conservancy
  • Brule River State Forest, Wisconsin. Partner: Brule River State Forest
With the repayment of loans, the GLRLF will be used again for conservation throughout the Great Lakes region. On average, The Conservation Fund uses revolving funds three times every five years. Because the GLRLF will be continuously at work, it has already preserved land valued well in excess of the $7.3 million corpus provided by the Charles Stewart Mott Foundation.