The Clear Lake Township Land Conservancy works to preserve, protect, and manage the natural environment within the watershed and township for future generations.
WHO WE ARE
CLTLC is a small, community-supported, 501(c)(3) nonprofit land conservation organization located at Clear Lake in Fremont of Steuben County, nestled in the northeast corner of Indiana where Indiana, Ohio and Michigan come together. An all-volunteer Board of Directors guides the efforts of CLTLC. The Board members and community volunteers serve on numerous committees that, in conjunction with our Executive Director, strives to accomplish our mission.
WHAT WE DO
For over 25 years, CLTLC has been entrusted with preserving and protecting this cherished corner of northeast Indiana through ongoing conservation and stewardship efforts. Our focus area includes the Town of Clear Lake, the Clear Lake Township and the Clear Lake watershed. With the support of individual donors, foundations, and volunteers and in partnership with local, state, and federal agencies we protect and preserve 15 important properties within the Clear Lake watershed. Each year we conduct water quality monitoring to guide our water quality enhancement efforts and approaches. We believe that building an appreciation for nature is essential in achieving our mission of watershed level preservation and management. We organize and host a variety of workshops, events, and outings that encourage youth and the community to think about nature and our environment and ways they can positively impact it.
The Clear Lake Township Land Conservancy (CLTLC) was started in 1991 by a committed group of volunteers.
Once described as an “inspired idea,” it took root when a survey was sent out to Clear Lake residents, which identified three components that would guide the Conservancy’s activities for the following 25-plus years: water quality enhancement, natural areas preservation, and environmental education.
In early years, volunteers conducted water quality monitoring to create the baseline data for the 800 acre Clear Lake, smaller adjacent lakes such as Round Lake, as well as the 4 county ditches that drain into Clear Lake. To expand on these efforts, a Water Quality Committee was formed in 2008. The Committee took a larger watershed view of Clear Lake’s water quality and started focusing on the importance and function of the adjacent wetlands to the lake.
Since 1991, the CLTLC has actively preserved sixteen properties, one -- Kasota Island-- within the lake, fourteen around it, and the Conservancy holds one conservation easement. One of the Conservancy’s land project goals is to help residents and surrounding landowners understand the importance of taking a watershed level approach to conservation by looking at sensitive resources beyond Clear Lake. Currently the Conservancy protects over 55 acres of sensitive areas that directly impact the water quality of Clear Lake. Here is a list of actions each of us can take to protect the lake.
One of the most important aspects of the Conservancy’s continued growth is its environmental education programs. Some of these efforts are demonstrated in CLTLC‘s Knee-High Naturalists Program. Beginning in the summer of 2006, and every summer since, children have gathered weekly in July to learn about a variety of topics like bats, fish, frogs, birds, composting, art in nature, invasive species, wetlands and water quality. The current brochure is here.
The Clear Thinking newsletter began publication in 2015 to inform and connect the Clear Lake community to the Conservancy’s mission and projects year round. Sign up here to receive the newsletters electronically or view under News & Events. In 2016 we added a new website, a distinctive logo and a social media presence on Facebook to further expand the Conservancy’s communications outreach.
The Conservancy has been organized and led by volunteers for over two decades. Their time, talent, commitment, and passion have grown the Conservancy and paved the way for our future success! CLTLC hired its first full time employee in May of 2015. The 25th Anniversary Year in 2016 was an exciting time for the Clear Lake Township Land Conservancy, marked by sellout crowds at a Gala and Kasota Island Hog Roast.
As we celebrate our volunteers and past successes, we look to the future. Our focus will remain on the continued growth of our three pillars: water quality enhancement, natural areas preservation, and environmental education.
Board of Directors
Mary Jo Fitzenrider