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Motown tunes for conservationists at Wild Night Out

Todd and Lena Roeser are ready to groove to Mark Harrington Band's live Motown tunes at Wild Night Out benefit dinner and auction for North Oakland Headwaters Land Conservancy, Saturday, Oct. 2, at Springfield Oaks Fairgrounds. Photo provided (click for larger version)
September 15, 2010 - When North Oakland Headwaters Land Conservancy helped purchase 186 acres of Upper Bushman Lake property, it achieved a goal that had been its front burner for years.

Now the non-profit group's coffers need refilling. That's the job of its annual dinner fund raiser, Saturday, Oct. 2, at Springfield Oaks County Park.

"Wild Night Out needs to be successful because we spent a lot of our reserves on making the Upper Bushman happen – it was our number one priority," said Katie Anderson, executive director. "It's the key to our success. It's a great fund raiser."

The Mark Harrington Band performs live Motown tunes at Motown Pride, Hometown Conservation dinner and auction.

"They have a very big following, performing live Motown music," Anderson said. "It's a casual evening with Motown eats – ribs, chicken, coney dogs."

The Upper Bushman property's $2.836 million purchase price was paid with $1.74 million from the Oakland County Parks, $945,000 from a Michigan Department of Natural Resources Trust Fund grant, grants, and $16,000 from North Oakland Headwaters Land Conservancy.

The NOHLC donation was from donations from Independence Township residents.

The property, which features a 31-acre lake, is in the northeast part of Independence Oaks County Park, bordered by Sashabaw and Oak Hill roads.

The corners of the two properties connect tip-to-tip through wetlands creating opportunities for a boardwalk connector trail.

"We're so excited about the Upper Bushman property – it doubled the size of Independence Oaks County Park," Anderson said.

Long term plans include fishing, non-motorized boating, cross-country skiing, hunting, and other recreation uses. Independence Oaks County Parks is located on Sashabaw Road, 2 ˝ miles north of I-75.

"We also have projects in Rose, Brandon, Holly, and Springfield townships, we're also looking at closing on this year," she said. "We need the staff and land acquisition resources for them."

Wild Night tickets are $50. Advance reservations required at 248-846-6547

Phil is editor for The Clarkston News. He is a veteran of the first Iraq war, having served in the U.S. Army.
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