Land protection projects recently completed in Muskegon, Mason, and Newaygo counties.
The Land Conservancy of West Michigan is pleased to announce the completion of the organization’s 100th land protection project. In total, the Land Conservancy has permanently protected 8,361 acres and 52 miles of shoreline in the organization’s West Michigan service area (an eight county region from Ludington to Saugatuck, and the lakeshore to Lowell).
“As an organization, we are so pleased to celebrate our 100th land protection project,” said Vaughn Maatman, Land Conservancy’s Executive Director. “These properties represent the best that West Michigan has to offer. The permanent protection of these scenic properties ensures that they will still be around – and still be in their natural condition – for our children and grandchildren to enjoy in the years to come.”
To reach the 100th property milestone, the Land Conservancy recently completed three land protection projects, all of which protect not only land, but also bodies of water:
- Flower Creek Dunes Nature Preserve – Located on the Lake Michigan shoreline near Montague in northern Muskegon County, this 14-acre nature preserve is open to the public. By purchasing this property, the Land Conservancy permanently protected critical dune habitat, home to the federally threatened Pitcher’s thistle, and 1,000 feet of Lake Michigan frontage.
- Shoup conservation easement – Running along the Pere Marquette River in Mason County, the 130-acre Shoup property includes farmland, mature hardwood forest, and an extensive wetland area home to an abundance of wildlife. The Land Conservancy worked with the Shoup Family to create a conservation easement which, while remaining in private ownership, permanently protects and prevents development on this property that has been cherished by their family for generations.
- VandenBosch conservation easement – Protecting ¾ of a mile of property on both sides of the Little South Branch of the Pere Marquette River, the 215-acre VandenBosch conservation easement also protects an extensive area of wetlands. The Land Conservancy worked with the VandenBosh Family to create this conservation easement on their property which remains in private ownership, but is now permanently protected from development.
The 100 land protection projects completed by the Land Conservancy represent the diversity of landscapes in West Michigan – Lake Michigan shoreline, river watersheds, forests, dunes, meadows, and wetlands. Properties protected are home to a number of endangered and threatened species including the prairie warbler, Blanchard’s cricket frog, Karner blue butterfly, lake sturgeon, and Pitcher’s thistle.