Something is always happening at the Lake Erie Islands Conservancy.

There are the events, fundraising, and of course all of the nature and wildlife to look after!

Please have a look around the website and the island habitats we’ve preserved.

 

Donate to the LEIC

Donation go directly towards helping the us preserve the natural habitat of our Lake Erie islands.

Become a Member

Now is a great time to become a Lake Erie Islands Conservancy Member!

Remembering Bob Russel

 

In January 2001, after the Lake Erie Islands Chapter of the Black Swamp Conservancy had just been formed, Bob Russell came to our board meeting and asked us to take a look at the property across from his home on East Point.  It was a big project, but he was persuasive!

Bob soon joined the board and helped with the creation of what is now the  Sche eff East Point Preserve .  He and his wife, Nancy, were frequent volunteers, as was their granddaughter Molly Domer.  He helped get the Lake Erie Islands Nature and Wildlife Center open that first year as well.  Bob remained on our board until his retirement and was still on the LEIC Advisory Council.

He often came to visit at our bird banding station, purple martin nest boxes, and other projects across the street. Although unable to read our emails or newsletter because of his poor eyesight, he would want to know all about our latest projects and continued to offer advice and encouragement.  We will miss Bob’s sense of humor and constant support of our projects.

Duff Homestead Purchase Complete!

Put-in-Bay Township Park District recently closed on 6.5 acres of property commonly referred to as the Duff Homestead Site. Thanks to all who have contributed or donated to this effort and the Duffs for working with us!

The property includes the historic Duff home which will be refurbished as a visitor center and an office for the Park District and the Lake Erie Islands Conservancy(LEIC.) The two acres of wooded property will eventually have a walking trail. This wooded area is a prime birding site. The Homestead site will also have a pollinator site. A variety of trees with funding from the Beth Garsteck Cueto Fund will be planted.

The location has 150 feet of lake front property which is a nursery for yellow perch, sunfish, and native minnows. The shoreline also has a unique undisturbed submerged plant community which supports a remnant habitat for fish like bowfin and gar.

The LEIC received a $20,000.00 challenge grant from an anonymous donor to refurbish the home. We are excited to announce that we have met that challenge with over $21,000 of donations from Dianne Smith (In memory of her husband Robert,) Lynda Heaton, Jean Hilt, Jim McMonagle, Doris Hubschman, and two anonymous donors. We are grateful for this wonderful support giving us $41,000 toward the restoration!

We are grateful also to Scott and Carolyn Jackson for their support with the Woody’s Harvest Fest held on October 1 at The Goat. They donated $4,087 from the sales of turkey and beverages that day at the Biergarten! Thanks to donors Sarah Cochran, Roger Parker, Bill Slough, and Kendra Koehler, Patty and Carl Lo Presti, and Susan Byrnes for items for a silent auction/raffle/50-50 held that brought in another $1,000 that day Thanks to Jay and Kelly Faris, Patty Lo and Carl Presti, Stacy and Alan Clink, Roger Parker, Susan Byrnes, Kendra Koehler, Russ and Lisa Brohl for all the help! The Conservancy presented Scott and Caroline LEIC wine glasses in appreciation for fundraisers held this year and presented Kristin Stanford wine glasses in appreciation of years of service on the Conservancy board.

This brings the total to $47,498 that the Conservancy has raised to restore the Duff Homestead for a visitor center/office space. Kendra Koehler and Susie Cooper have been saving items from the home for historic reuse. Contractor Mark LeKanka has been busy clearing the home, tearing off the back porch and securing the home. A new furnace, basement cleaning, floor restoration is all planned for this fall. We hope to have protective fencing,
exterior and interior painting and other improvements in the Spring. Benches for the site have been purchased by Patty and Carl LoPresti, Neal and Carla Hess and Mark and Lisa Berens. Native Bur Oak, Swamp White Oak, and American Sycamore Trees purchased with funding from the Beth Garsteck Cueto Tree Fund have been planted along the property line. We hope to have the office space ready by March and the Preserve dedicated in spring or early Summer.

If interested in contributing to this effort by volunteering or donating, please let us know at leiconservancy@gmail.com or 419-366-2087.

The final phase of the Duff Homestead is the purchase of 11 acres of pristine vineyards, antique outbuilding, an orchard, and a garden. A bald eagle’s nest is adjacent to this property.

 

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