The TLC wants to help protect all natural areas in the Thumb. Because of the many variations of landscapes, soils, moisture, microclimate, influence of the Great Lakes, the Thumb has many different plant communities and species that depend on them. Of the many landscapes and plant communities, we are particularly interested in those areas most at-risk of loss, rare, or unique to the Thumb.

The 9-Tree Fellowship is an initiative of the TLC to foster a Scouting alumni group for Silver Trails Scout Reservation, a 300-acre Boy Scout camp west of Jeddo along the west side of the Black River. With so many scout camps having been closed or sold in recent years, the TLC is hoping to be able to offer support to ensure the same fate does not befall Silver Trails. Camp alumni groups have been able to organize, fundraise, and rescue several scout camps across the US and Canada. Successes have ranged from working with scout councils to increase camp use and develop new programs, to paying for conservation easements, to purchasing all or portions of camps, to ensuring that camps are sold to similar camping organizations or conservation buyers. Perhaps one of the best examples of an alumni group is the Owasippe Staff Association that rescued Owasippe Scout Reservation near Muskegon, Michigan, the oldest scout camp in the US, from an impending sale by the Chicago Area Council around 2005 through 2007. They are still working to ensure that Camp Owasippe remains a valued part of the council program.

The 9-Tree Fellowship, named in honor of the old Silver Trails camp symbol, the “Number 9 Tree” can serve in a similar capacity for Silver Trails, and perhaps be an example for other camps. Anyone can join the 9-Tree Fellowship. Please add your name and contact information to the 9-Tree Fellowship sign-up page below. Only your name will be displayed. Please take a look and see the scouts and scouters who have joined. The TLC has four members that spent a lot of time at Silver Trails in their youth, Executive Director Bill Collins, and Executive Board Members Dan Rhein, Dr. Scott Ferguson, and Chris Walker.

Check out the 9-Tree Fellowship Facebook group: for Facebook members and more information.

Special TLC accounts are dedicated to Silver Trails, to be used by the 9-Tree Fellowship to support the camp program, pay for camp improvements, purchase a conservation easement, or purchase the camp if it should be offered for sale. If you would like to donate, click here for more details.