Environmental Impact Opportunities for Giving for Donor Advisors

Welcome to the first grant cycle of 2021!

We received 17 grant requests to support environment, land use, and recreation initiatives located in the Lake Charlevoix Watershed and/or Charlevoix County. The Environmental Advisory Committee will recommend grants for environmental education, protection, restoration, recreation, and sustainability, and the organizations that make that work possible. In this cycle, and all cycles in 2021, organizations were invited to apply for project support and/or general support for their mission work in recognition of the challenges faced over the last year.

The Committee will have nearly $80,000 available to meet these requests. Community grantmaking funds will contribute, including the Ethel Coeling Environmental Fund, the Tunison-Garlock Fund for the Environment, and the Lake Charlevoix Watershed Fund. You can co-fund these requests using your donor advised fund in one of two ways:

If you wish to take early action and help Ashley and the Committee stretch available dollars, please email me with your recommended amounts by Monday, March 15.

If you wish to participate following the Committee’s decision-making meeting, you can check back here for updates after March 18 and email me by Tuesday, March 23. This timeline will allow for Board approval, time to notify applicants about funding decisions, and processing – all within one month!

Prefer to print it out? You can download it here.

And if you have questions, be in touch!  -- Sara (734) 771-3539   or   sward@c3f.org


Protection and Restoration

Antrim Conservation District, DBA CAKE CISMA - Request: $15,125
for a tool lending library at CCD and restoration of Bennett Creek
Charlevoix, Antrim, Kalkaska, and Emmet Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area (CAKE CISMA) will host local volunteer workdays for improving natural areas. Restoration of the Bennett Creek will improve water quality in the Jordan River by decreasing runoff from riverbanks with the planting of native species that reduce erosion. In addition, removal of invasive species around the tributary will improve spawning habitat for prized sport fish. A tool library, including specialized tools for removing invasive species, will be implemented at the Charlevoix Conservation District, open to all county residents, empowering  residents to become more active stewards of the area's natural resources.


Charlevoix Conservation District - Request: $10,000
for general support
The Charlevoix Conservation District promotes natural resource protection in Charlevoix County through partnership, community outreach, and landowner support. Grant funding awarded would help the organization with upgrading technology, making safety improvements to office space, and carrying out mission related activities such as publishing a land atlas, purchasing necessary materials for the beachgrass harvest, and conducting outreach and educational programming.


Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council - Request: $20,000
for general support and the Mobile Boat Washing Station
Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council speaks for Northern Michigan's waters. They are dedicated to protecting the region's lakes, streams, wetlands, and groundwater through respected advocacy, innovative education, technically sound water quality monitoring, thorough research, and restoration actions. In 2020 the organization's funding was decreased due to pandemic related restrictions. Funding will support general operations and will help specifically with the Mobile Boat Washing Station, which engaged 405 members of the public and removed invasive species from 59 boats on 11 lakes in 2020.




East Jordan Public Schools - Request: $15,000
for a solar array at East Jordan Public Schools
The EJ Solar Spark project was generated by students to install a solar array on the roof of the EJ Middle/High School. This project is true environmental education in practice.  The solar array will not only generate energy to help the district reduce the amount of electricity it purchases, but it will also provide a viewing station where students can see and learn how solar energy works.


Groundwork Center for Resilient Communities - Request: $7,500
to develop solar curriculum for schools
Groundwork Center has supported several schools across a 10 county region with initiatives to install solar panels on their campus. Their most recent school partnership is with the East Jordan Solar Spark team at EJ Middle/High School. Groundwork is seeking dedicated funds to develop and implement solar curriculum for East Jordan K-12 students that would support and extend the impact of their solar installation to continue with future East Jordan students, as well as be useful to other schools with solar installations in the future.


Tara's Meadow Education & Retreat Center - Request: $7,915
for the Beaver Island Sustainability Initiative
Tara’s Meadow requests funds for Phase 2 of its multi-phase Beaver Island Sustainability Initiative, which includes overarching goals to assist Islanders in enhancing local food production, clean energy initiatives, and healthy ecosystems. Specifically, Phase 2 will consist of convening key groups to draft a strategic low carbon clean energy plan, and conduct an educational hands-on demonstration of small-scale food production and season extension technologies. These two objectives will help Beaver Island move closer to their goals of food, energy, and ecological sustainability. 



Land Use and Green Spaces

Challenge Mountain - Request: $15,000
for managing storm water run-off at Resale Store
Challenge Mountain is seeking support to address storm water run-off in parking areas and on the easement road at the CM Resale Store. A storm water management plan at the Resale Store will involve grading existing dirt surfaces to drain water away from the building and parking areas and toward retention ponds and/or drains which will connect to the retention ponds through underground pipe. Maintaining and improving the Resale Store facility will not only make the facility safer and more accessible, but will also continue to benefit the adaptive recreational programs for friends and neighbors in the community.


Charlevoix Area Community Pool - Request: $10,000
to repave parking lot and address drainage issues
The Charlevoix Area Community Pool will repave the parking lot and implement better drainage, including conducting an environmental/engineering study that will determine the best water mitigation strategies. Currently, water pools up in many places on the parking lot, including at the pool entrance, making navigation difficult and dangerous. Grant funds would be used to conduct the engineering study and repair the parking lot to ensure safety and accessibility of the pool.


Charlevoix Public Schools - Request: $5,500
for "Roots for Rayders" kindergarten tree planting program
This program will pair kindergarten students and high school seniors together to plant trees on the Middle/High School property. Teaching students the benefits of planting trees and the correct way to plant trees will provide aesthetic and environmental benefits to the community. The partnering of the youngest and oldest Rayders to enhance the environment by planting trees provides a level of learning and stewardship that can't be accomplished in the classroom.


City of Boyne City - Request: $45,000
for land survey and engineered plans to revitalize waterfront park in BC
The City of Boyne City, in partnership with a grassroots citizen group called Field of Dreams, plans to rebuild the waterfront ball field, more widely known as the BC Little League Park, to ensure this historic, community treasure is brought up to first class playing standards, is maintained for future generations, and co-exists responsibly as a waterfront park. Grant funds will be used toward the first phase of the project: acquiring engineered designs to ensure proper drainage and protection of Lake Charlevoix, on whose shores the field sits.


Hayes Township - Request: $6,000
for schematic design for Camp Seagull/Hayes Twp Park
Hayes Township is moving forward with their Parks and Recreation Plan, which highlights improvements at Camp Seagull as a priority. Funding would help with the creation of a  schematic design plan for park improvements such as shore stabilization, a fishing pier, and an accessible kayak launch in the future. The schematic plan will allow the Township to phase the development and assist in the fundraising efforts to develop the park in a sustainable way for long-term economic and recreational benefits for the community.




Little Traverse Conservancy - Request: $5,000
to improve accessible trail at Susan Creek Nature Preserve
Little Traverse Conservancy maintains 2.37 miles of trail at Susan Creek Nature Preserve in Charlevoix County, (plus an additional one mile loop in the winter). One of the trail loops at this popular preserve becomes unbearably muddy during the spring and much of the summer. The funds requested will be used to support the construction of a boardwalk trail to preserve the trail and to provide a better experience for the community.


Paddle Antrim - Request: $8,000
for general support
Paddle Antrim engages people out on the water, educates individuals on protecting waterways, and hosts the Chain of Lakes Water Trail. They help to improve access and create universally accessible launches and routes throughout the region, offer paddling safety classes by certified instructors, provide information to paddlers about routes, invasive species, and much more. With pandemic restrictions, they could not hold their signature Paddle Antrim Festival in 2020, and they face a similar situation in 2021. Grant funding will help with general operating expenses.


Peaine Township - Request: $44,000
to construct pickleball & bocce ball courts in Peaine Twp
For Beaver Island residents and visitors, playing pickleball and bocce ball for recreation and fitness has become increasingly popular. The demand for court time exceeds the available, existing court space. Grant funds will support the creation of dedicated, low maintenance, pickleball and bocce ball courts for residents and visitors in Peaine Township.


Raven Hill Discovery Center - Request: $5,000
to construct the Raven Hill Connections Trail
Raven Hill Discovery Center’s mission is to provide a place that enhances hands-on and lifelong learning for all ages by connecting science, history & the arts. Due to the pandemic, Raven Hill's indoor spaces were closed to the public in 2020, but will reopen in April 2021. The grounds, with many outdoor features remained open throughout. To enhance the outdoor spaces at Raven Hill, funding will support the creation of the Connections Trail, which will allow visitors to enjoy hands-on science, history & art activities in an open-air setting.


Top of Michigan Mountain Bike Association - Request: $19,000
to create new multi-use trails near Boyne City
The Boyne Forest Trail is an amazing and unique community asset, offering miles of trails through beautiful woods near Walloon Lake and Boyne City. The new trails will be professionally built, with exciting features and sustainable design practices. Funding requested will be put toward completing trail that connects to the existing Boyne Forest Trails to the east and new trailhead parking lot currently under construction at the southwest corner of the property, and will create special features along the trail for trail users.


Top of Michigan Trails Council - Request: $5,000
for general support
Top of Michigan Trails Council (TOMTC) advocates for and facilitates the development and maintenance of a safe, multi-use, year-round recreational trail system in Northern Michigan; and promotes the maintenance and use of these trails for the benefit of all. TOMTC has experienced a decrease in revenue due to pandemic related restrictions, which has been especially difficult because outdoor recreation, and trail use specifically, has increased dramatically during the pandemic. Support from this grant will allow TOMTC to continue building the trail network within Charlevoix County, leveraging the existing network and increasing the desirability of the county as a launching point for locals and tourists alike to access the network.