Watershed Ecology


The force behind life as we know it. Critical to us for drinking water, water to play in, and water that drives our ecosystems, fresh water is the foundation of healthy, functioning systems for all life.

The Great Lakes is home to 20% of the world’s fresh water, creating a big call to action to protect this fresh water. All of Michigan’s rivers and streams flow into a Great Lake. The water flowing through a small stream behind your home in the Walloon Lake watershed eventually ends up in Lake Michigan! Our Bear River flows directly into Lake Michigan through the Little Traverse Bay.

  Fields Preserve - Schoof's Creek tributary Schoof's Creek Bear River as it nears Petoskey and LT Bay

The health of both inland lakes and the Great Lakes is tied to the health of the rivers and streams that flow into them, and the lands that contain their headwaters. Protecting water and ensuring that we have access to clean streams, rivers, and lakes means not only protecting the waterways themselves, but also protecting and stewarding the lands around our water. Because of the very clear connection between the land and the water, the Walloon Lake Trust and Conservancy’s mission is to protect the land that protects our water.

The Conservancy works closely with local and state-wide agencies and organizations to learn as much as possible about the quality of the watershed’s freshwater. This knowledge leads to potential answers for questions, solutions to problems found, and more protection of the lands in the watershed. You can explore these studies below, and always call us if you have questions about any of our ecology studies.

Conservancy’s Natural Features Inventories in the Walloon Lake Watershed
Walloon Lake Association’s Projects with Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council
Conservancy’s Priority Parcel Analysis