The Friends of Pilgrim Haven ROCK!

You did it! SWMLC’s 2015 Year End Appeal challenged all of you to help us meet an ambitious $50,000 goal to create public access at Pilgrim Haven, and you nailed it!

Our deepest thanks to all of you who participated and made a gift to support the Friends of Pilgrim Haven. And as always, many thanks to all of you who broadly support SWMLC and allow us to do this important work together.

Your gifts enable us to meet the matching requirements of our Michigan Natural Trust Fund grant as well as those for a federal funds proposal we submitted in December. Altogether these funds will provide most of the necessary monies to undertake the first phase of work to open Pilgrim Haven to the public and create barrier-free access to the beach.

In partnership with the South Haven Area Recreation Authority (SHARA), we expect to begin improvements in early summer. SHARA will assume management and maintenance of the preserve, while SWMLC maintains responsibility for improving the natural area.

And although the preserve will be undergoing construction of a parking lot and walkway, we will still be holding several workdays to help restore Pilgrim Haven’s natural areas, as well as community events for you to come and enjoy.


Thank you!


The Wednesday Workday Warriors: Join us in Lucky Season 13!

2016 marks SWMLC's Silver Anniversary
and it's hard to believe that so much time has passed!

There have been many changes but one constant remains: 14,000 acres of Southwest Michigan’s distinctive dunes, wetlands, forests, savannas, prairies, farms, and vineyards are now conserved and protected forever. In 2016, we're celebrating our anniversary with 25 special events that highlight our public preserves and offer fun, new activities for the whole family.
Please check our events page for the most up-to-date announcements and details.

Join us in celebrating what we’ve achieved together in 25 years of local conservation. With your help, we’re just getting started!



The Wednesday Workday Warriors

Lucky Season 13!
Anyone is welcome to pitch in to help keep our preserves up to snuff. It's a wonderful way to experience the preserves with the folks who know them best, plus get acquainted with other active people who share the conservation spirit. RSVPs are always nice; just call the office at 269-324-1600 or email











Wednesday, April 27

Help us kick off our traditional garlic mustard pulling season! The gratification will be instant when we stomp out the narsty weed and make way for the spring wildflowers at one of our loveliest preserves at its spring peak, Kesling Nature Preserve. If you're a birder, bring binoculars -- but do promise to pull a few weeds before you get swept away by this migration corridor hotspot!

WHERE: Kesling Nature Preserve, Three Oaks Twp., Berrien Co.

WHEN: April 27, 8:15 am to carpool from the northeast corner of the Kalamazoo Valley Community College parking lot. RSVPs are appreciated if you're carpooling. Plan on a longer day because of the drive times (and lunch).

ACTIVITY: Garlic mustard pulling

BRING: Work gloves, water, and lunch money

To carpool:
Meet at the northeast corner of the Kalamazoo Valley Community College parking lot (Texas Twp., Kalamazoo Co.), 6767 W O Ave. From I-94, take Exit 72 (South 9th St.) and head south. Drive half a mile, the road will turn to the west (right) and become West O Ave. The entrance to the northeast corner of the lot is immediately on your left.
To meet at the preserve: ):  From I-94, take exit 4A (New Buffalo Exit), onto US-12 east. Go about 2.5 miles east on US-12 and turn right (south) onto Basswood Rd. Go 1.5 miles south on Basswood Rd and turn west onto Forest Lawn Rd. Follow Forest Lawn Road about .75 miles. The preserve is on the north side of the road, just east of the bridge over the South Branch of the Galien River. Three Oaks Township Park is just east of Kesling and has a gravel parking area, port-a-john and trail leading into Kesling.