HARBERT — Organizers of the effort to “Save Harbert Woods” are seeking to raise $1.4 million for the purchase of a 14-acre woodland along Harbert Road ahead of an April 1 deadline.
According to the grassroots organization’s recent fund-raising letter, the land “is the missing link that connects three existing Chikaming Open Lands (COL) properties to complete a 30-acre Conservation Corridor. Long envisioned by COL, this corridor strengthens vulnerable ecosystems, habitats for wildlife & endangered species, a migratory bird flyway, and wetlands. It is rare to find a stretch of such high-quality forested land this close to the Lake, and it will disappear to development unless we take action.”
“Rarely do you get the opportunity to create something that will last forever. If this project is successful, it will not only preserve the natural beauty we appreciate (now more than ever), but it will increase your home values and minimize disruption and noise from future construction. These woods will benefit the Harbert Community for generations to come. Together we can maintain the unique, natural character of the Harbert we love!”
The letter starts out by saying “As you may know, the Save Harbert Road Woods team has partnered with Chikaming Open Lands to protect some of the last undeveloped tracts of natural land in Harbert. We are thrilled to announce that COL has successfully negotiated a purchase agreement to acquire and preserve 14 acres of this woodland along Harbert Road! “
David Foster, one of the people involved in the Save Harbert Woods effort, said that as of Feb. 20 confirmed pledges stood at about $850,000.
Although the closing date is set for April 1, he noted “we need to know that we have sufficient pledges to find that $1.4 million by March 15th.”
The fund-raising letter lists “the team to Save Harbert Road Woods” as Rob DeVilbiss, David Foster, Meg Foster, Mary K. Kelly Hines, Clay Miller, Melissa Foster and Brooke Long.
“We’re leading walks with anybody and everybody who wants to go through here and see this magnificent piece of property,” David Foster said following a Feb. 20 hike through Harbert Woods.
Another is scheduled for 11 a.m. Eastern Time Saturday, March 6 (RSVP by sending an email to SaveHarbertRoadWoods@gmail.com.
“If we’re not successful, we’re at real risk here of the property going in a different direction,” he said. “It is actively for sale and there are interested parties out there for private development.”
For more information on the property or to donate visit ww.SaveHarbertRoadWoods.com.