Environmental Funds


The Ethel Coeling Environmental Fund was established through an estate gift in 2002 and is open to all donors who care about the natural resources in Charlevoix County. This impactful fund has been able to protect, preserve, restore, and improve precious environmental assets through grants for a wide variety of projects.  Area lakes, rivers, and streams are kept in good condition, stormwater management plans mitigate the impact of stormwater runoff into water resources, and targeted programs improve fish habitat and reduce invasive plant species in area lakes and rivers. Grants from the Environmental Fund have also assisted with trail improvements and signage county wide.

Starting in 2020, the Ethel Coeling Environmental Fund is being invested in a socially responsible way. By investing these dollars in environment, social, and governance (ESG) investments, the fund will continue to grow, while also supporting and being supported by income from socially responsible companies.

Because the Environmental Fund is endowed, it will continue to grow and provide grant dollars for these kinds of programs and projects and more, both now and into the future.  Contributions to the Environmental Fund join together, resulting in greater impact for this community we love.

Photo: Volunteers with the Lake Charlevoix Association work on eradicating phragmites, an invasive plant, along the lakeshore.


Ethel Coeling Environmental Fund     

After graduating from Michigan State University, Ethel obtained her physical therapy certificate from Walter Reed National Military Medical Center in 1942. She served as a physical therapist around the United States and in Germany until she retired from the Army as a Lieutenant Colonel in 1967.  During this time she made many weekend visits to her favorite spot, "The Back of the Moon", her cottage in Norwood on the shore of Lake Michigan. A second career led her to the Marshall Islands, where she worked for the Government of the Trust Territory of the United States.  Ethel worked on the island of Majuro in the Pacific for 18 years, where many of her patients were young native children.

 When she retired with honors from the Trust Territory in 1984, Ethel enjoyed life at her cherished cottage in northern Michigan.  She engaged with the community through volunteer work, hiking, reading, and painting.  She began making a difference closer to home through the Community Foundation.  "There are so many local programs worthy of support," Ethel said, "and the Community Foundation offers so many options." Ethel decided to establish a donor advised fund; the Community Foundation helped with the transfer of appreciated stock and handled all the paperwork.  When Ethel passed away in 2003, her estate established funds to support the environment, Charlevoix Library, Ellsworth Schools, and the Charlevoix Area Community Pool.

Of particular significance is the Ethel Coeling Environmental Fund.  Ethel's estate gift has allowed for the Community Foundation to make grants that have restored, preserved, and protected this beautiful corner of the world.  Learn more about what has been accomplished thanks to the Ethel W. Coeling Environmental Fund.

Ethel's legacy lives on when her funds continue to support the aspects of community that she loved most during her lifetime.

Is a legacy gift right for you?  Learn more about leaving a legacy through the Community Foundation.


Jim & JoEllen rudolph fund for the environment     

When they lived in Lansing, Jim and JoEllen Rudolph dreamed of moving north after they retired. A series of events led them to feel that “no one is promising you tomorrow” and they decided to stop putting their dream on hold. More than thirty years later, JoEllen says that they “haven’t regretted that decision for even a moment.”

They truly enjoy all that northern Michigan has to offer, especially the great outdoors. “We love the changing seasons,” shares JoEllen, “and we may be unusual in that we really love winter – it’s beautiful!” An avid birdwatcher, she can practice her hobby any time of year. Weather permitting, Jim rides a recumbent bicycle and can be found on the Little Traverse Wheelway between Harbor Springs and Charlevoix. “The views of the water along the trail are just wonderful,” he explains. They are also very concerned about the impacts irresponsible development and climate change continue to have on our lakes, streams, wetlands and wildlife.

Their love for the environment and for Northern Michigan led them to establish the Jim and JoEllen Rudolph Fund for the Environment. In this way, their gift can help preserve and protect this area that they love so dearly. 



Tunison-Garlock Fund for the Environment     

“I am proud to be able to create this memorial fund and I thank the Charlevoix County Community Foundation for providing me the opportunity to appropriately remember and honor three wonderful people.”   -- Ted Tunison

With an interest in the environment and young people in Charlevoix County, Theodore (Ted) Tunison established the Tunison-Garlock Memorial Fund at the Community Foundation in 1993. Mr. Tunison explained his motivation in a testimonial he shared at that time: “I created the Tunison/Garlock Memorial Fund because I wanted to honor the memory of my parents, Theodore and Martha Tunison, and also the memory of Kenneth Garlock, who was married to my mother prior to his death.” 

In the years since the Fund was established, the Community Foundation has supported many meaningful environment and youth programs with support from the Tunison-Garlock Fund.  The Community Foundation board approved action in 2017 that provides for clearer grant-making as well as an additional opportunity to honor Ted and his family; the Tunison-Garlock Fund for the Environment and the Tunison-Garlock Fund for Youth continue to support the work the donors cared about most. 


More funds that support the environment

Charlevoix Area Garden Club Funds
   Supports the operations and programs of the Charlevoix Area Garden Club

Charlevoix Canopy Fund
   Provides funding to plant new trees in the City of Charlevoix

Ethel Coeling Environmental Fund
   Dedicated to supporting environmental initiatives in and around Charlevoix County

James and Evelyn Howell LTC Education Fund
   Supports the Little Traverse Conservancy's educational programs

Lake Charlevoix Protection Fund
   Provides support for applications that impact water quality in the Lake Charlevoix watershed

Lake Charlevoix Watershed Fund
   Utilized to support projects that benefit the Lake Charlevoix watershed

Postle Farm Preserve Fund
   Provides funding to steward the Postle Farm Preserve at Walloon Lake

Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council Fund
   Supports the general operations of Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council

Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council-Charles Minor Taylor III Memorial Endowment Fund
   Supports youth education and water qualaity monitoring programs offered by Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council

Tunison-Garlock Fund for the Environment
   Supports environmental programs that have a positive impact on Charlevoix County

Walloon Lake Trust and Conservancy Fund
   Supports the mission of the Walloon Lake Trust and Conservancy