‘Wild Night Out? a record night for conservancy

It was cold and blustery night outside, but last Friday night’s ‘Wild Night Out? was anything like dreary. The bidding was hot and furious for the North Oakland Headwaters Land Conservancy’s 4th annual benefit auction.
‘It looks like we brought in $29,000,? NOHLC Executive Director Katie Anderson said on Monday. ‘It was a record night for us.?
According to Anderson, 110 people braved the gusting winds and blowing rain to attend the auction, held this year at Liberty Golf and Country Club on Maybee Road in Independence Township. The group received over 100 items to auction, Anderson said, with the big ticket items being a couple of African safaris and a trip to Belese.
‘Every one said they enjoyed the night,? Anderson said, adding, ‘They also said auctioneer Tim Birtsas made the auction fun by encouraging a lot of active bidding.?
All in attendance were there to support NOHLC’s efforts in preserving the area’s natural resources.
‘We are so blessed to be surrounded by so much beauty,? John Cowan, of Independence Township said. ‘Every morning when we wake we see beauty. We’re here because we want to give back.?
Cowan was in the company of his wife, April who is on NOHLC’s ‘Wild’s Benefit Committee,? and their two sons, Nick, 13, and Nathan, 11.
Springfield Township resident John Ham echoed Cowan’s sentiments he and his wife Millie support NOHLC because, ‘They do marvelous work.?
NOHLC board member Ed Anderson, of Bloomfield Hills said he joined the group because how they approach preserving land. ‘They are smart. They don’t try to stop all development. Instead, they work with developers — they get people to work together for a common goal.?
Ortonville’s Trish Hennig said, ‘We believe in their mission and we want to help them accomplish it.?
Hennig and her husband John, were Tom and Anne Pytel’s guests. Tom is NOHLC vice president.
NOHLC’s mission is to protect, ‘the unique character of the natural resources and quality of life . . .? for future generations. Since it’s founding in 1972, the group has acquired and is responsible for maintaining 47 pieces of property, totalling over 1,200 acres of land. Their reach includes the townships of Independence, Springfield, Brandon, Groveland, Holly and Rose. According to Anderson, they have over 300 members.
‘But, because we cover such a large area, we should have double that. This coming year we plan to step up our efforts in membership development,? she said.
In attendance to receive NOHLC’s Blue Heron Award were Springfield Township Clerk Nancy Strole and Collin Walls, Springfield Supervisor. The Blue Heron Award annually goes to the individual or institution that ‘consistently and persistently? cares for the land and preservation of nature.
The feature property for the evening was the Bridge Valley Development, which straddles both Independence and Springfield townships. The property was developed by Clarkston doctor James O’Neill. O’Neill and KIRCO Development company worked with both townships in the creation of preserved land within the residential development.
‘We just met with a biologist from the Department of Natural Resources,? Anderson said. ‘After touring the (Bridge Valley) property he concluded it was one of the region’s most pristine areas.?
She also said the biologist intends to work with NOHLC to maintain the property’s natural resources.
Anybody wishing to join the NOHLC can call Anderson at 248-846-6547 or go on-line at www.nohlc.org