http://www.csi-net.net/tomar/milatrt/ -- Lawrence F. London, Jr. mailto:london@sunSITE.unc.edu http://sunSITE.unc.edu/InterGardenTitle: MICHIGAN LAND TRUSTEES
What is MLT?
The MICHIGAN LAND TRUSTEES a non profit 401(c)3 corporation dedicated to preserving the health and vitality of the people-land interface. MLT works out of Southwest Michigan.
What do you mean by that?
Everywhere we see the results of wasteful land practices in the name of expedience and short term profits. MLT seeks to examine and improve connections between people and the land and thus enhance personal responsibility for environmental health.
A land and capital intensive food production system that relies on short term chemical fixes that can result in the loss of small farms, meaningful employment, soil erosion, pollution of ground water and the general wasteful use of fossil fuel resources.
Another example is forestry which as commonly practiced now, promotes short term expedient profits as a justification of even aged management and clear cutting when mixed aged management and selective cutting have been shown to be the most productive of quality wood and the other forest products that a healthy forest produces.
So what is the MLT doing about these issues?
MLT has a 20 year history of promoting stewardship of soil and land resources. In 1978 we acquired through donation, a 36 acre run down farm and started a living-learning homesteading program affiliated with Western Michigan University. Many men and women learned small scale organic farming and self-sufficiency skills, by actually doing it. This program existed in various forms through 1984. Then interest and energy evolved to delving into permaculture.
Permaculture is the concious design of land and its biota in ways that mimic natural ecosystems and provide the stability, efficiency of resource use, and productivity found in healthy ecosystems. Appropriate productive species and varieties are used along with symbiotic structures that maximize both the "edge effect", and three story woody polycultures, and by assimilating animals-both domestic and wild-to exploit their additive and synergistic productivity. People function as components of this polyculture.
What other activities has MLT been involved in?
Many. Although MLT sold the land trust farm in 1994(It is still farmed organically with permaculture principles in mind.), the interests and activities of MLT has been diversified as is the membership and the board of directors. A newsletter is produced 2-4 times a year. The group has been involved, over the years and at present, with community gardens, a LETS program, and Moffa (Michigan Organic Food and Farm Alliance), among many others. The quarterly meetings of the board are always interesting and stimulating.
What does membership entail?
Five or more dollars a year depending on what you can afford. In return you receive a newsletter. Larger donations, of course, may be made to take advantage of our tax free status. Being a land trust we have a special interest in land donations which we can use to further our prime directive. Other avenues of involvement include the contribution of articles to the newsletter and contributing at the board meeting or the annual membership meetings.
We would like to hear from you!
An aerial view of the former Land Trust Homesteading Farm
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