Pictured: Amy Beyer, John Frey, and Glen Chown

Among a long list of other titles, John Frey is a true Conservationist, philanthropic marvel, and virtuoso. With charisma and heart, John has invested in Northern Michigan’s Wild Places for decades, personally and through the iconic Frey Foundation. His love for our shared natural resources is so strong it often flows over us in hyperbole and prose.  He recently told CRA Director Amy Beyer,   

 “I could sit on the bank and watch the wonders of the stream’s morphology all day, without ever wetting a fly.” 

Conservation Resource Alliance and the Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy shared John and his wife Hilde’s incredible $1 Million gift. Sparing no time, both organizations are already actively using the funds to tackle land and water conservation work within several watersheds of joint service.   

For CRA, this means preparing projects to be “shovel ready,” a phrase commonly used around the office to describe projects with permitting, design, engineering, and other pivotal stages completed. Shovel-ready projects open the door for construction and direct action on the ground.   

While being used to leverage other significant funding, the contribution has and will continue to provide a tremendous lift to projects in several Northwest Michigan watersheds, Including:   

Jordan River Watershed: Aspiring to restore Michigan’s first designated Natural River from stem to stern, CRA is replacing several stream crossings that impede fish passage, artificially warm the water and alter natural flow.  

Boardman River Watershed: Assisting landowners to address two crumbling dams on Apple Creek – an important cold water tributary, reforesting the river corridor through cooperative efforts with the Conservation District, and improving stream crossing sites throughout the watershed. 

Mitchel Creek Watershed:  Restoring the beautiful Mitchell Creek and the Land Conservancy’s new Mitchell Creek Meadows Property through comprehensive stream, floodplain, and corridor enhancement projects.  

Big Manistee River Watershed: Tackling several Road Stream crossing improvements poised to enhance the river and its renowned fishery. 

Platte River Watershed: Prioritizing stream restoration projects to benefit fish, wildlife, and communities throughout the very land GTRLC protects and enhances.  

To read more about John Frey and GTRLC’s plans to utilize the funding, please read the recent Landscript article (Pages 38-39). 

On Behalf of CRA and all of Northwest Michigan. Thank you, John and Hilde!