Nature Conservancy

Conservancy as a Mission

In addition to its focus on entrepreneurship, the foundation is committed to environmental conservation and preservation of our property. Many of the environmental standards for the property were developed by our founders and are deeply ingrained in the organization’s culture.

Managing resources to achieve the best possible balance between sustaining the many diverse ecosystems and species and improving their health is both exciting and challenging.

Big Rock Valley’s broad variety of habitats supports an unusually diverse species population. Underway for several years now, species inventories continually uncover new, rare species on the property, many of which are listed as threatened or endangered.

The foundation’s environmental management philosophy guides us to be good stewards and caretakers of the property. We maintain as many self-sustaining, diverse native species populations as practical, giving special attention to listed species. We also give great consideration to the potential consequences of our actions, knowing that any enhancement program to improve the environment or habitat for certain species could have a negative effect on other species — or possible long-term collateral effects for the property.

Property Overview

The major natural components of the property are:

  • Woodlands, both uplands and wet.
  • Lakes, ponds and streams.
  • Diverse wetland areas including cattail marshes, buttonbush swamps, sedge meadows, wet woodlands, fens and peat bogs.
  • Several large, deep ravines.
  • Relatively large contiguous parcels.
  • Many varied and diverse ecosystems.
  • Large number of diverse species.

 

Big Rock Valley’s 2,600 acres are comprised of the following:

  • Woodlands: 750 acres.
  • Cropland: 850 acres.
  • Hayfields/meadows/prairies: 350 acres.
  • Marshlands/lowland woods: 550 acres.
  • Building sites & roads: 100 acres.
Research and Educational Collaborations

The foundation collaborates with numerous groups to leverage its resources and capabilities, gain technical expertise and provide a platform for education. Collaborations have included:

Most notable are longer-term research projects. A few recent examples include:

  • Teams from Michigan State University have conducted studies in the tall-grass prairies for bioenergy research.
  • A Michigan State University researcher conducted a multiyear study on garlic mustard to develop biological control.
  • Central Michigan University researchers have conducted two projects: a two-year study on massasauga rattlesnakes, and a study on the hybridization of mice.
Related Articles...
Determining the Real Costs of Lead Generation — and Making It Work

Keys to a successful marketing program: targeted audience, sharp appearance, valuable offer.

Read More ...
Mom always liked you best: Why second-stage entrepreneurs need your love

“You like Trevor better than me!” lamented my neighbor’s daughter as she compared her mother’s love for her and her brother. I can tell you for a fact this is not true. My neighbor is a fabulous mom who showers love and affection on both of her children…

Read More ...
How Ben & Jerry’s Iced Early Rival to Survive

“How Ben & Jerry’s Iced Early Rival to Survive” When ice cream entrepreneurs Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield first expanded beyond their Vermont home, they received a chilly reception.Haagen-Dazs, which owned the high-end category, threatened to withdraw its product from any supermarket distributor also offering Ben & Jerry’s. Cohen and Greenfield realized that their larger rival could outlast them in

Read More ...
Do the Right Thing: Think Principles

Ethics, character and integrity will point you on the path to success — personally and professionally.

Read More ...
Strategic Plan Vital to Managing Growth

Business plan vs. strategic plan: There is a difference.

Read More ...