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A Conservation Vision Realized
Some properties have their own timetables when it comes to setting the wheels of protection in motion, and the Myers property has been one of those. Since August 2000, SWMLC has been working with the Myers family and their heirs and assigns, beginning with Nicole Hill, former SWMLC land protection specialist, and Renee Kivikko, former SWMLC executive director. Even after the deaths of Dr. Hilda Myers in 1999 and Dr. Donald Myers in 2009 — both Ph.D. chemists — the dream remained alive.
And on December 18, 2013, the ownership of this beautiful 90-acre property was at long last legally transferred to SWMLC.
The Myers Nature Preserve straddles G Avenue in Comstock Township, just east of Kalamazoo and only one mile north of Chipman Preserve as the crow flies. Vigorous springs on the north parcel form the headwaters of Comstock Creek. The creek flows through wet meadows and under G Avenue, continuing through woods and wetlands along the border of the southern parcel and on into Campbell Lake. From there the waters touch two more SWMLC preserves, flowing through KEKA Preserve and then into Lyons Lake where Marc’s Marsh sits along the shoreline.
The high ground of the new Myers Nature Preserve is mostly rolling oak woodland with areas of pine plantation and black walnut grove. Early spring finds hepatica and columbine blooming in the shade of the woodlands and wild lupine displays in the sunny openings. The woods resound with song birds, thick with Great-crested flycatchers, Scarlet tanagers, and Pileated woodpeckers. The wetlands in spring and summer are a cacophony of singing frogs, insects, and birds.
Former SWMLC president, Ken Kirton, knew Don when they both worked for The Upjohn Company. Ken spent many hours with Don and with SWMLC staff on the property and accompanied Nicole Hill during those early meetings with Don and son Donnie.
“It is especially gratifying to learn the deal is completed in that Don wanted so much to protect the property against development,” Ken said. “It is a beautiful property with a wide diversity of habitat, from swamp to xeric woods. It is to SWMLC’s credit that they persevered over all of these years.”
The Myers family loved, appreciated, and enjoyed this property for many decades. Dr. Myers, also a naturalist, and his son Donnie spent many hours together building over 1,000 birdhouses and placing them on their property.
SWMLC thanks Don and Hilda Myers for their conservation ethic and foresight to begin the process that eventually protected their beautiful land. Their conservation vision is secured.
[To read Dr. Donald Myers’ 2009 obituary, click on this link.]
[Photos by Nate Fuller.]
2014 Saturday Workdays
CANCELLED: March 8 at Spirit Springs Sanctuary in Cass County
The snow is much too deep to get any work done at Spirit Springs, so this workday has been cancelled.
And the PAAWM paint-out planned for Spirit Springs on March 8 also has been cancelled.
(Good thing Mitch and Kaldis went down to scope things out on Tuesday!)
Earth Day Workday April 22
"Pitch in" and volunteer on Earth Day, Tuesday, April 22, at KL Avenue Nature Preserve in Oshtemo Township.
We're taking part in the Stewardship Network's Garlic Mustard Challenge. We'll start at 9 a.m. and stop at 3 p.m. — you can work all or any part of the day.
Bring gloves, water, and elbow grease and wear long sleeves and long pants. If you plan to stay all day, bring lunch. We'll provide refreshments, snacks, garbage bags, and extra gloves for those without.
Please email Mitch at firstname.lastname@example.org to let him know you're coming and to arrange for parking.
2014 Painted Sanctuary Calendar Still Available
We still have 2014 calendars left. Each one contains photographed reproductions of original art with sidebar text written by Nate, highlighting the creatures and flora found on the property depicted in the art.
They're for sale at our office in Portage for only $10. (Add $5 for each calendar if you would like it shipped to you.)
They are also available for $10 at: Frames Unlimited (7 locations in Michigan), Kazoo Books (2 Kalamazoo locations), Nature Connection and KIA Gallery Shop in downtown Kalamazoo, At Last in Glenn, Anne's Health Foods in Hastings, Pierce Cedar Creek Institute in Delton, and Love Your Mother in Three Rivers.