Neighbors Helping Neighbors: Over $28,000 In Storm Relief Donations Benefit Glen Arbor Cleanup And “Re-arboring” Efforts

After the Sleeping Bear Dunes and the village of Glen Arbor took a direct hit from a devastating storm last August, local businesses, residents and people all across the country with deep ties to the area came together to raise money for the cleanup. This month, the Utopia Foundation—a nonprofit founded to aid recovery efforts—released a report showing the positive impact of donations. Check out these highlights along with a link to the full report.



With winds clocked at 100 mph, the August 2nd that ripped across Leelanau County last summer was unprecedented in terms of the damage it caused to the forests and residential areas in and around the Sleeping Bear Dunes. Tens of thousands of trees—some centuries old—were snapped in half and ripped up by the roots. They smashed into homes, blocked roadways and caused power outages that lasted for days.

But equally unprecedented was the level of support and community involvement show by Glen Arbor businesses, residents and visitors who donated their time, resources and money—lots of money—to help cleanup this treasured local community.

Re-Arboring Glen Arbor

Formed during the aftermath of the storm, the Traverse City-based Utopia Foundation served as a charitable umbrella for the many thousands in donations that began pouring in to help the village recover.

Helping spearhead a multi-stage recovery plan, the foundation worked in conjunction with private and volunteer cleanup crews to divvy up over $28,513 collected from private and public donors. According to a report released a few weeks ago, Utopia Foundation’s primary, short-mission was to fund the removal and recycling of damaged trees fallen over community roadways and public spaces.

But donors also committed funds to the nonprofit with an eye to the future and the long-term work of recovering the trees and, in some places, entire forests that were decimated by storm winds. Glen Arbor is, after all, named for its trees. So landscape renewal—namely, the planting of new seedlings to ensure Glen Arbor remains green for future generations—was an equally important mission of the crews funded by Utopia Foundation donors.

By The Numbers

While complete recovery is still a long way off, Glen Arbor cleanup crews that worked tirelessly in the months leading up to winter made a lot of headway. Fire danger from trees fallen around the community was reduced and thousands of new seedlings were planted.

According to the Utopia Foundation report, donation money was distributed to help cover the lion’s share of the cost incurred by the Glen Arbor township for cleanup and the replanting of trees. These costs include:

Deering’s Tree Service: $20,000

Traverse Outdoor tree planting (to date): $11,030

Glen Arbor township crews planted 21 trees prior to the first frost. These include: six continental pear trees in the business district; 12 maples trees and three white pines north of Sunset on M-22 and other outlying areas. 

[banner source:]