DNR honors Susan Lackey of Chelsea with Partners in Conservation Award

Contact: Ed Golder, 517-284-5815
Agency: Natural Resources

Aug. 16, 2016

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources presented Chelsea resident Susan Lackey with a Partners in Conservation Award during Thursday’s Natural Resources Commission meeting in Lansing.  Lackey recently retired as executive director of the Ann Arbor-based Legacy Land Conservancy.

During his presentation of the award, DNR Parks and Recreation Division Chief Ron Olson described Lackey as “positive, creative, relentless and Susan Lackey award presentationvisionary."  Olson recognized the conservancy’s advocacy for the new Watkins Lake State Park and County Preserve as well as the group’s aid in procuring additional acreage for the Waterloo and Pinckney state recreation areas.

Lackey, who said the 45-year-old Legacy Land Conservancy was founded to preserve watersheds, natural areas and farmlands in Washtenaw and Jackson counties, praised the DNR as “great partners.”  She said she was glad to accept the award on behalf of the agency’s board and staff.

“There’s nothing that would happen without the whole organization,” Lackey said. “By doing what we do – by knowing people and keeping things on the front burner – we can get a whole lot more accomplished than we all can alone.”

The Legacy Land Conservancy played an important role in coordinating the purchase of 717 acres of land in Jackson County, which when combined with 405 acres of contiguous land owned by the Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation Commission, became Michigan’s 103rd state park and the first state park in Michigan to be jointly managed with a county recreation agency.

The 1,122 –acre Watkins Lake State Park and County Preserve is an excellent waterfowl refuge and birding destination that offers hiking, bird watching, upland hunting, mountain biking and many other outdoor recreation activities. The park joins other state parks and recreation areas in Washtenaw and Jackson counties, including Waterloo and Pinckney recreation areas.

Lackey said now that she’s retired, she looks forward to “playing” at the new park and the recreation areas, especially Waterloo.

Partners in Conservation award nominations are made by DNR staff members and bestowed upon individuals or organizations for exemplary contributions to conservation in Michigan. Susan Lackey was nominated by Jim O’Brien and Gary Jones of the DNR Parks and Recreation Division.

The Michigan Department of Natural Resources is committed to the conservation, protection, management, use and enjoyment of the state’s natural and cultural resources for current and future generations. For more information, go to www.michigan.gov/dnr.