Our Story

Spring Thaw on Grand Lake Reserve
Spring Thaw on Grand Lake Reserve

The Indian River Lakes Conservancy was formed in 1998 at a meeting of five couples around a dining room table on the shores of Butterfield Lake.  Henry Carse, a pioneering environmentalist and civic leader, inspired the creation of IRLC with his gift of the 26 acre Osprey Point Marsh on Butterfield Lake. In 2003, his second gift of more than 800 acres between Butterfield and Grass Lakes became the Grand Lake Reserve.  Now, eighteen years later, we own and protect 2,277 acres of land, with 6 miles of well used trails.  More trails, including an “all access” trail through the woods on our year old Redwood Hill Preserve, are in progress.  Our Water Project is focused on improving the water quality in the Indian River and the 18 lakes in the Indian River watershed.  Our rapidly growing array of public events, educational programs, and opportunities to volunteer are increasing our friends’ and neighbors’ interest and involvement in making a real difference while having fun and protecting this special area that we all Love.

Recently two major steps: hiring our first staff person two years ago, and beginning the preparation for accreditation last year have really helped us strengthen and solidify our base.  We have reviewed and updated all of our policies and procedures, we have asked ourselves some tough questions and fixed some issues, we learned new skills, and refocused our efforts and our commitment.  In sum, we are becoming more professional and better prepared.  We are becoming an even stronger, more capable, soon to be accredited Land Trust that will be even more effective in our next 18 years.  We are proud of our accomplishments to date, and very excited about the IRLC’s future.

Since that time, the dedication, hard work, and generosity of our community have assured the
continuing success of our organization. We can all help protect this natural resource that is so important to all of us.

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