The City of Traverse City has been awarded a Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund (MNRTF) Grant in the amount of $2,352,200 to be used for land acquisition at the Brown Bridge Quiet Area.
The Brown Bridge Quiet Area is approximately 1,310 acres of City-owned property located 11 miles southeast of Traverse City within the Boardman/Ottaway River Watershed. The City obtained the property in the early 1900s. The property was established as a natural area for quiet recreation by the City Commission in the 1970s.
In 2023, the City was presented the opportunity to acquire 528 acres of land adjacent to the Brown Bridge Quiet Area for $3,098,445. The City Commission approved a resolution to apply for a MNRTF Grant in the amount of $2,352,200. At the November 2023 election, an overwhelming support of over 80% of City voters approved usage of the principal from the Brown Bridge Trust Fund to match the grant in an amount not to exceed $746,245.
Upon acquisition, the Brown Bridge Quiet Area will expand to 1,838 acres for quiet recreation, with one of the newly acquired parcels encompassing 228 acres featuring Spring Lake, while the second, a 300-acre section, is part of the Traverse City Rotary Camps and Services property. Collaborating closely with the Brown Bridge Advisory Committee, the City is committed to reassessing the Management Plan, ensuring the thoughtful and sustainable use of these newly acquired lands.
The City partnered with the Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy to secure the properties acquisition and to navigate the complexities of applying for a Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund grant. This collaborative effort aims to develop efficient methodologies that align with conservation goals, preserving the natural integrity of these landscapes for the benefit of our community and future generations.