An annual event is approaching that celebrates the natural beauty of Livingston County while raising money to protect natural land and productive farmland.

The Livingston Land Conservancy will hold its 16th annual “Land on the Horizon” fundraiser from 7 to 10pm on Friday, September 6th at the Historic Howell Opera House. It’s a business casual event and all proceeds raised will benefit the Conservancy’s Land and Stewardship Funds. The Conservancy is a non-profit that works to protect the natural heritage and rural character of the greater Livingston County area by preserving natural areas and farmland. President Sara Thomas says the upcoming event is their only major fundraiser and all of the money raised goes exclusively toward land preservation, land acquisition and stewardship - which is the heart of their mission. She says they have some really generous, devoted supporters and couldn’t do this kind of work without them – noting they are an all-volunteer organization and all funds go toward their mission. Thomas tells WHMI protecting land and acquiring it is not cheap so these fundraisers are really important and they appreciate everyone who comes out. She says there are a lot of wonderful things on the horizon for land protection in Livingston County and they’re excited to be working on four additional projects – two of which will hopefully be done before the end of the year.

This year’s fundraiser will also feature a special guest. David Mindell of Ann Abor-based PlantWise LLC will discuss his work in native plantings and land restoration techniques. Thomas says Mindell has been really instrumental in some of their properties and actually conducting prescribed burns. She also noted the relationship to climate change and what’s happening on the landscape, and how that might affect what someone does in the future on land in terms of preserving things.

Tickets to “Land on the Horizon” are $65 per person and include a catered buffet dinner, live and silent auctions, raffles, a wine pull and live entertainment. A cash bar will be available. Auction items include travel and leisure packages, entertainment packages, artwork and sports memorabilia among others. Free tours of the original upper floor of the Opera House that closed in 1924 will also be conducted courtesy of the Livingston Arts Council. Those looking to purchase tickets are asked to do so by August 28th. For tickets or more information, call 248-561-5506 or email Rick Thomas Tickets can also be purchased on the Conservancy’s website or Facebook page. That link is provided. (JM)