The students pictured above were able to attend the recent Third Coast Conversation series kickoff event featuring a keynote by local author, Jerry Dennis. While there, students were able to participate in small discussion groups with concerned citizens and leaders from local, regional, and worldwide organizations. Groups explored the role freshwater plays in local history, culture and sense of place. Dennis challenged attendees to create a renewed sense of local pride in our water by helping develop a shared mythology of the Great Lakes and freshwater. But this is just one example of how the Leelanau School supports “protecting the watershed drop by drop.”

Promoting community engagement around environmental stewardship is nothing new at the Leelanau School. If you recycle, and we hope you do, you are probably familiar with the recycling drop-off location on Leelanau School property. But did you know that for nearly 90 years, the Leelanau School has served as custodian of approximately 2,000 feet of the lower reaches of the Crystal River and surrounding significant wetlands?

This educational community of nearly 80 students and staff preserves the natural buffer along the banks of the river and protects adjacent wetlands; exercises best management practices that protect surface and groundwater by recycling solid wastes, uses eco-friendly cleaning products, composts organic wastes, minimizes pesticides, herbicides, and insecticides, and refrains from using fertilizers in close proximity the river. These efforts engage students, staff and visitors through education to promote wise use of natural resources and the protection of surface and groundwater. 

Do you know of other organizations, groups or businesses in our community that support the ideals of watershed protection?  Would you like to nominate them for GLA Guardian recognition? 

Contact Guardian Ambassador, Tricia Denton at