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Invasive Species Workshop at Pilgrim Haven

Come for the morning workday, then really make it a day by bringing a lunch and staying on at Pilgrim Haven for a hands-on workshop presented by the Southwest X Southwest Corner Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area and SWMLC, beginning at 1 pm. Participants will learn how to identify and report the invasive species that are threatening Southwest Michigan’s forests, lakes, and homes. Using the Midwest Invasive Species Information Network (MISIN), volunteers will map and report species such as Japanese Knotweed. SWMLC staff will also demonstrate this fall’s planned knotweed treatments, and demonstrate the successful shrub treatments on the preserve. Find out more at SW X SW Corner CISMA’s Facebook page.

WHEN: Saturday, July 29, 1-3 pm.

WHERE: Pilgrim Haven Natural Area, South Haven Twp., Van Buren Co.

DIRECTIONS: Make it a day by bringing a lunch and staying on at Pilgrim Haven for a hands-on workshop presented by the Southwest X Southwest Corner Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area, beginning at 1 pm. Participants will learn how to identify and report the invasive species that are threatening Southwest Michigan’s forests, lakes, and homes. Using the Midwest Invasive Species Information Network (MISIN), volunteers will map and report species such as Japanese Knotweed. SWMLC staff will also demonstrate this fall’s planned knotweed treatments, and demonstrate the successful shrub treatments on the preserve. Find out more at SW X SW Corner CISMA’s Facebook page.

RSVP: Even though this is a free event, RSVPs are always nice and it’s helpful for us to know that you’re coming. Please call our office (269-324-1600) or email Miko at cmdargitz@swmlc.org.

Kanoe the Kazoo / Drink One Down Benefit Event

Join us on a free, guided paddle trip along the Kalamazoo River!

This trip offers a unique opportunity to participate in Kanoe the Kazoo on a week night. This relatively short paddle trip will end at Verburg Park on Paterson St. (a public city park with free parking), but will stop at Arcadia Ales on the way so that folks who are interested in supporting SWMLC can stop to eat and “Drink One Down for Your Town”. Arcadia will match 50% of the day’s tap sales as a donation to the conservancy in support of our mission to protect great natural places in our region. Provide your own canoe or kayak — no rentals will be available.

Every pint makes a difference!

WHEN: Monday, August 7, check-in begins at 4 pm.
START LOCATION: Merrill Park, Comstock (get directions)
END LOCATION: Verburg Park, Kalamazoo
TRIP LENGTH: 1-2 hrs
CAR SPOTTING/SHUTTLE: Shuttle provided to help spot vehicles to end point at Verburg Park and return to Merrill Park for group launch starting at 6 pm.
ADMISSION FEE: Free
Download the paddle plan.
Even though this is a free event, you must register to participate.register online

QUESTIONS? Please call our office (269-324-1600) or email Miko at cmdargitz@swmlc.org.

No Family Left Indoors: Hop into the Prairie

Free admission and open to all ages!

What’s that in the grass?! Participate in an insect investigation of Hidden Pond’s tall grass prairie . . .  we’re likely to find all sorts of critters, from caterpillars to grasshoppers, crickets to mantises, beetles, and other insects galore! This evening event promises to be a fun way for families to experience nature together while planting those seeds of conservation in the young ones.

Local non-profits are continuing the tradition of offering free, family-oriented programs on Tuesday evenings throughout the summer with the No Family Left Indoors series of events. Hosted by Pierce Cedar Creek Institute (PCCI), these programs are a great way to discover new places, learn about organizations working to make Barry County a better place, and have fun. Visit PCCI’s website to find out more about the series and to register for this event.

WHEN: Tuesday, August 8, 6:30 – 8 pm.

WHERE: Hidden Pond Preserve, Hope Twp., Barry Co.

DIRECTIONS:
From Kalamazoo:
Go north to Delton. Immediately north of Delton, turn west onto Stevens Rd., which turns into Miller Rd. Follow Miller Rd. as it winds west and then north, ending in about 2 miles at Guernsey Lake Rd. Take a short jog east onto Guernsey Lake Rd, then turn north onto Otis Lake Rd. Follow Otis Lake Rd. for about 3.4 miles (the road will turn into a dirt road at 2 miles); the preserve will be on the west side of the road. If you get to Sager Rd., you’ve gone too far.
From Hastings: Go west on M-43/M-37 about 2 miles to where the roads divide. Continue west onto M-179 about 1.5 miles and turn south onto Gun Lake Rd. Follow Gun Lake Rd. as it winds southwest for about 3 miles, then turn south onto Otis Lake Rd. Follow Otis Lake Rd. about 2 miles, the road jogs a bit to the west as it crosses Sager Rd, and continue several hundred feet to the preserve (on west side of road).
From US-131: Take Exit 61 (M-179 aka 129th Ave. aka Chief Noonday Rd). Follow M-179 about 13 miles east to Whitmore Rd. Turn south onto Whitmore Rd., follow it for about 3 miles, and it will then turn west. Shortly after it turns west, turn south onto Otis Lake Rd. Continue several hundred feet to the preserve (on west side of road).

RSVP: Even though this is a free event, you must register with PCCI to attend. Follow this link to register.

Cupcake Tike Hike

Free admission and open to all little kids and their families!

Cupcakes are fun to decorate and even more fun to eat! Please join us for an age-appropriate hike through portions of Chipman Preserve, followed by a cupcake decorating party where your munchkins can make a grand old mess slathering frosting and sprinkling jimmies. We will provide the toppings and cupcakes. TJ Wilkinson (steadfast SWMLC supporter, volunteer, and father to two young daughters) and Julie Collard of the Kalamazoo area chapter of Little Adventurers’ Club will lead the walk and exploration of Chipman Preserve’s incredible show of late summer flowers.

WHEN: Sunday, August 13, 3:30 pm.

WHERE: Chipman Preserve, Comstock Twp., Kalamazoo Co.

DIRECTIONS: Chipman Preserve is in the 8000 block of East Main St., 3 miles east of Sprinkle Rd. between 30th and 33rd Streets in Comstock Township (Galesburg). The preserve entrance is on the north side of the street.

RSVP: Even though this is a free event, RSVPs are always nice and it’s helpful for us to know that you’re coming. Please call our office (269-324-1600) or email Miko at cmdargitz@swmlc.org.

10th and Final Art Walk

Support the arts while supporting land protection!

All good things must eventually end, and so it goes for the Art Walk. Please join us for the 10th and Final Art Walk, back where it all began at the popular Wau-Ke-Na, William Erby Smith Preserve. As always, members of the Plein Air Artists of West Michigan will set up their easels around the preserve and capture its beauty in paint and pastel. There will be a plein air art show and sale, guided nature hikes, and family-friendly activities. Bring a picnic lunch and enjoy a summer day in west Michigan outdoors!

If you would like to make a day of it, consider volunteering for the “Take a Monarch to Lunch” workday, running from 9 am to noon at Wau-Ke-Na.The group will be planting a nectar-rich wayside garden in support of migrating monarch butterflies. Follow this link for all the workday details.

WHEN: 
Saturday, August 26, 12 – 3 pm.

WHERE: Wau-Ke-Na, William Erby Smith Preserve (South Tract), Ganges Twp., Allegan Co.

DIRECTIONS:
From US-196/Hwy. 31, take the Glenn exit (exit 30) onto Blue Star Memorial Hwy (aka County Road A2).  Go southwest about half a mile to where 70th St. (aka Adams Rd.) merges with Blue Star Hwy.  Make a hard right turn (north) onto 70th St. and go about half a mile.  The gravel entrance to the preserve will be on the west side of the road.

From Kalamazoo, take M-43 west to South Haven. Turn north (right) onto Blue Star Highway and travel about 12 miles, continuing north through the village of Glenn. The road will fork just beyond Glenn; go straight onto 70th St. (aka Adams Rd./Lakeshore Dr.). Look for Wau-Ke-Na signs on the left (multiple signs and drives). The gravel entrance to the preserve will be on the west side of the road.

Grandparents Day Tike Hike

Free admission and open to all little kids and their families!

Oma and Opa, Baba and Gigi, Nana and Papa, Memaw and Pepaw, Grandma and Grandpa . . . those names mean “love” in any language! This event provides a wonderful opportunity for grandparents to spend quality outdoor time with their young grandchildren, while parents enjoy a play date of their own. Of course, everyone is welcome whether they’re accompanied by bona fide grandparents or not! TJ Wilkinson (steadfast SWMLC supporter, volunteer, and father to two young daughters) and Julie Collard of the Kalamazoo area chapter of Little Adventurers’ Club will lead the group on an age-appropriate hike, with plenty of stops to look for bugs, sniff the flowers, and wait for slow-pokes to catch up!

ATTENTION HOP! PARTICIPANTS: Portman Nature Preserve won’t be open to the public on a daily basis until its grand opening in October. HOP! participants who would like to earn their Portman medallion before that time are invited to attend this Grandparents Day Tike Hike.

WHEN: Sunday, September 10, 3:30 pm.

WHERE: Portman Nature Preserve, Almena and Antwerp Twps., Van Buren Co.

DIRECTIONS: • From I-94 take the Mattawan Exit (# 66) and head north (right) from the traffic circle onto Main Street. Head north for 1 mile to reach Red Arrow Highway, then turn left (west).
• Go west for 1.5 miles, then turn right (north) onto 27th Street (look for Owsiany Farm Stand on the corner).
• Continue traveling north for 0.75 mile, then turn left (west) onto 49th Avenue.
• Go about 0.75 mile to the preserve entrance on the right/north side of the road (just west of the old white farm house at #28534).
Please remember that the Portman Nature Preserve is not yet open to the public, except during special events or by invitation — so it will not be open on a daily basis during the summer. We anticipate a grand opening in the fall. Thank you for your cooperation!

RSVP: Even though this is a free event, RSVPs are always nice and it’s helpful for us to know that you’re coming. Please call our office (269-324-1600) or email Miko at cmdargitz@swmlc.org.

Annual Members’ Meeting



Savor hors d’oeuvres and wine in the relaxing atmosphere of Cody Kresta Winery, then learn about the latest SWMLC happenings at the business meeting.

This year’s Annual Members’ Meeting will be held in Cody Kresta Vineyard & Winery’s Tuscan-inspired tasting room! Appreciate the winery’s beautiful rural landscape while enjoying hors d’oeuvres, wine, and visiting with friends. (Of course, non-alcoholic beverages will be available, too.) Then join us for the annual business meeting, where we will provide an overview of SWMLC’s last 12 months and future plans.

For those who may be unfamiliar, Cody Kresta Winery has created an excellent white wine called Portman’s Legacy specifically as a benefit for SWMLC, generously donating ALL of the sales proceeds to us. You may buy Portman’s Legacy directly from Cody Kresta or from their booth at the Mattawan Market throughout the summer . . . while supplies last!

WHEN: Tuesday, September 19, 6 – 8 pm.

WHERE: Cody Kresta Vineyard and Winery is located right around the corner from Portman Nature Preserve at 45727 27th Street, Mattawan.

DIRECTIONS: From I-94, take the Mattawan Exit (# 66) and head north (right) from the traffic circle onto Main Street. Head north for one mile to reach Red Arrow Highway, then turn left (west).
• Go west for 1.5 miles, then turn right (north) onto 27th Street (look for Owsiany Farm Stand on the corner).
• Continue traveling north for one mile; Cody Kresta’s driveway is on the right (east) side of the road.

RSVP: Please call our office (269-324-1600) or email Miko at cmdargitz@swmlc.org.

Fluffernutter Tike Hike

Free admission and open to all little kids and their families!

What’s a “fluffernutter”? Why, it’s a sticky sandwich made from bread, peanut butter, and marshmallow fluff . . . of course! You and your little ones can burn some calories out on the trails, then enjoy a tasty treat on us. TJ Wilkinson (steadfast SWMLC supporter, volunteer, and father to two young daughters) and Julie Collard of the Kalamazoo area chapter of Little Adventurers’ Club will lead the group on an age-appropriate hike to Spirit Spring’s pond to look for turtles and pretty autumn leaves. Don’t forget to bring something to drink to wash down those fluffernutters!

WHEN: Sunday, October 8, 3:30 pm.

WHERE: Spirit Springs Sanctuary, Marcellus Twp., Cass Co.

DIRECTIONS: From Kalamazoo area: Travel south on US-131 to Marcellus Road (M-216). Turn right (west) onto Marcellus Road, drive 4.3 miles to the intersection of Bent Road (large green sign). Turn left (south) onto Bent Road and drive 3.1 miles to the intersection with Dutch Settlement Road. Turn right (west) onto Dutch Settlement Road; the preserve parking lot is 1.8 miles ahead on the north (right) side, just after the road surface changes color at the county line.

RSVP: Even though this is a free event, RSVPs are always nice and it’s helpful for us to know that you’re coming. Please call our office (269-324-1600) or email Miko at cmdargitz@swmlc.org.

Black River Paddle


Experience this large, interesting preserve from the comfy seat of your kayak or canoe.

The Black River is big enough to be free (usually) of obstacles and small enough to let you relax as you float through the woods and past the stream-filled ravines. Mark your calendars for this fun fall event . . . and please check back for developing details.

WHEN: 
Sunday, October 14

WHERE: Black River Preserve, Geneva Twp., Van Buren Co.

DIRECTIONS:
From M-43:
At the traffic circle at Maple Grove Corners, take CR-689 north to the T-stop at 8th Ave. Turn right (east) on 8th Ave, and look for the preserve on the south side. If you get to 68th St, you’ve gone too far.
From US-196:
Exit east onto Phoenix Rd. (exit #20). Take Phoenix Rd. about 1/2 mile to 71 1/2 St. Turn south onto 71 1/2 St. and go 1 mile to 8th Ave. Go east on 8th Ave, about 1 mile and look for the preserve entrance on the south side of the road.

Portman Nature Preserve Grand Opening!

Save the date!

It’s been a long time in the making, but Portman Nature Preserve will finally open to the public this coming fall. Save the date and please join us in celebrating the unspoiled beauty of YOUR new public preserve!

Please check back for details!

WHEN: Saturday, October 21, 2017

WHERE: Portman Nature Preserve, Almena and Antwerp Twps., Van Buren Co.

SWMLC Past Events

North Country Trail Hikes

The North Country National Scenic Trail is a 4600 mile hiking trail that is administered by the National Park Service. Several different trails carry a route that stretches from Green Mountain National Forest in Vermont, down through the Finger Lakes region, around...

read more

Grandparents Day Tike Hike

Sunday, September 10 – Oma and Opa, Baba and Gigi, Nana and Papa, Memaw and Pepaw, Grandma and Grandpa . . . those names mean “love” in any language!

read more

Annual Members’ Meeting

Tuesday, September 19 – Savor hors d’oeuvres and wine in the relaxing atmosphere of Cody Kresta Winery, then learn about the latest SWMLC happenings at the business meeting.

read more

Black River Paddle

Sunday, October 14 – Experience this large, interesting preserve from the comfy seat of your kayak or canoe.

read more

      


Southwest Michigan
Land Conservancy
8395 East Main St.
Galesburg, MI 49053


269-324-1600 conserveland@swmlc.org


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