Development pressure in the 1980s led to the formation of the Leelanau Conservancy in 1988 to protect and preserve the spectacular scenic and cultural beauty of the peninsula. Among the early challenges was preserving open space in the heart of the Village of Leland. The site of the village green was previously used for off-street parking related to nearby Fishtown, but was being considered for a new development.
The Leelanau Conservancy purchased the property in 1990 and, after seeking public input, it was decided to preserve the open space as a village green. The village green continues to be a charming focal point of the village and a welcome place of respite and peaceful reflection for both residents and visitors alike.
The Leelanau Preservers Tile Wall is at the center of the green. It’s a circular structure adorned with more than 500 individual tiles chosen by each donor or donor’s family to represent their contribution to the conservancy.
The tiles are created by Sporck Tileart and represent many facets of the region’s natural and scenic beauty. The tile program honoring contributors began in 2007 and represents cumulative donations exceeding $500 (or enough to acquire approximately 1/10 of an acre or more). Although the tile wall is now full, tiles continue sent to donors in thanks for their contributions so they may be displayed at their home.
Know Before You Go
Free on-street parking is available in the vicinity, though the length of time allowed varies, so be sure to double check the signage. The Historic Fishtown is a short walk (several blocks) away.