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SWMLC Receives $100,000 Legacy Grant from Entergy-Palisades for Creation of Dune Trail
Trilliums at SWMLC’s Porter Legacy Dunes,
photo by Mitch Lettow
“We greatly appreciate all of Entergy-Palisades’ support of our work during the past several years, which has served as a critical catalyst in acquiring and developing public access at several of our nature preserves.”
— SWMLC President and Executive Director, Pete Ter Louw
Hikers at SWMLC’s Porter Legacy Dunes, photo by Amelia Hansen
Creation of new public hiking trails in the Lake Michigan dunes took a step forward thanks to a $100,000 grant from Entergy Corporation, owner of the Palisades Power Plant in Covert Township, which made the grant to Southwest Michigan Land Conservancy (SWMLC). SWMLC, working with the South Haven Area Recreation Authority (SHARA), will use the grant for creation of trails in the recently-acquired Porter Legacy Dunes Preserve.
“Entergy-Palisades is pleased to provide this legacy gift that protects dunes and makes them accessible for public enjoyment,” said Palisades Site Vice President Darrell Corbin. “The work of Southwest Michigan Land Conservancy provides a real and lasting benefit for our community. Entergy is proud of the partnership we have formed with them on several projects over the years, which will be enjoyed for generations to come.”
From left: MicK Middaugh, Entergy; John Lewandowski, SWMLC Board of Directors; Kate Hosier, City of South Haven; Robert Burr, SWMLC Board of Directors; Pete Ter Louw, SWMLC President & Executive Director; Bobby Walker, Entergy; Nick Culp, Entergy; Dathan Lumpkins, SWMLC Board of Directors; Ross Stein, South Haven Charter Township and SHARA Chair. Photo by Tom Renner.
Admiring Lake Michigan from an overlook at SWMLC’s Porter Legacy Dunes,
photo by Carlos Mejia Lopez
Located adjacent to Pilgrim Haven Natural Area, Porter Legacy Dunes was purchased in the fall of 2020 by SHARA with assistance from SWMLC, and a grant from the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund, as well as generous donations from many individuals, partners and community members. The two nature preserves total 75 acres and protect 2,000 feet of frontage on Lake Michigan. Owned and managed collaboratively, the two properties will have over 1 ½ miles of trails and serve as the northern terminus of a proposed hiking trail system between Van Buren State Park and Pilgrim Haven Natural Area, which is still conceptual at this time.
With the contribution from Entergy-Palisades, SWMLC will be able to design and develop trails on the Porter Legacy Dunes property that enable visitors to see the spring wildflowers and enjoy spectacular views of Lake Michigan. Porter Legacy Dunes is almost 50 acres of pristine backdune forest and includes a stretch of Dyckman Creek that flows north from Van Buren State Park and through Porter Legacy Dunes and Pilgrim Haven before flowing into Lake Michigan.
“We greatly appreciate all of Entergy-Palisades’ support of our work during the past several years, which has served as a critical catalyst in acquiring and developing public access at several of our nature preserves,” said SWMLC’s President and Executive Director, Pete Ter Louw. “This final gift will allow us to explore creation of additional trails along the dunes, moving forward on a vision that will further South Haven as a destination for people who love the outdoors and nature.”
We ask that people please wait to visit Porter Legacy Dunes while we continue to develop trail designs that will offer a superior hiking experience while still protecting the preserve’s delicate dune forest habitat.
We appreciate your patience — please stay tuned for more news!
Habitat conservation projects on the Lake Michigan shore, photo by Bruce Howe
This is what we do.
SWMLC protects habitats, ensures water quality, supports biodiversity, connects people with nature, and helps families conserve the land they love.
As a community-supported organization, YOU make this possible.