Source: Sherman Publications

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Land conservancy welcomes new director

by Mary Keck

March 20, 2013

The NOHLC's new Executive Director Marie Donigan.
In some circles she is known as "the tree lady," but for the North Oakland Headwaters Land Conservancy (NOHLC) Marie Donigan is called Executive Director.

Since 1972, the NOHLC's efforts have led to the preservation of 55 properties covering 1,426 acres of land, but Donigan says the non-profit isn't finished yet. They've set their sights on a 10,000-acre challenge to identify more properties for preservation.

To pinpoint and maintain so many acres, the NOHLC will hold workdays on the weekend where volunteers will inspect properties. Inspector training is planned for Saturday, March 23 at 10 a.m. at the Springfield Township Civic Center.

"Bring the family; it will be a family-friendly event," said Donigan. "The more inspectors we have, the better work we can do."

Volunteers will inspect land the NOHLC has placed under easements, which keeps the property protected in perpetuity. The acres are conserved by working "with local governments and other partners to preserve high-value property," Donigan explained. The value of the property is determined based on features like water bodies and native plant species as well as its location in relation to other presearved lands.

In addition to inspector training, the NOHLC has ambitious goals for 2013. They intend to grow the organization, involve people outside of Oakland County, work toward conserving more land, and raise more funds, Donigan said.

In the meantime, she intends to hike out and take a closer look at all 55 properties once the weather warms up. "I can't wait to get my boots back out," Donigan added with a smile.

Find out more on and watch an interview with the new executive director on "Seeing Green" at