“The river is everywhere at the same time, at the source and at the mouth, at the waterfall, at the ferry, at the current, in the ocean and in the mountains, everywhere and that the present only exists for it, not the shadow of the past nor the shadow of the future.” 

― Hermann Hesse, Siddhartha

Here in southwest Michigan, protecting the start of a stream means adding protection to the Great Lakes . . . and if all the streams could be sheltered from harm, the Great Lakes would be, too.

In protecting their 203-acre property in Barry County with a conservation easement through Southwest Michigan Land Conservancy, the Eggerstedt Family are protecting one of those very headwater areas where the water begins. The Eggerstedt Conservation Easement protects over 1,500 feet of Wanadoga Creek and 1,300 feet of Ellis Creek, clean streams that feed the Battle Creek River, which flows into the Kalamazoo River, and ultimately empties into Lake Michigan.

In addition, the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality has ranked the wetlands on the Eggerstedts’ property as ‘highly functional’, meaning that the 180 acres of marshes, shrubby wetlands, and floodplain forest are efficiently performing their natural jobs of absorbing flood water, transforming nutrients, catching sediment, stabilizing shorelines downstream by slowing down the water, providing excellent habitat for fish and waterfowl, and conserving many rare wetland species of plants and animals. 

Southwest Michigan Land Conservancy very much appreciates the partnership of the Eggerstedt Family in conserving this important property, and are grateful to the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality for their aid in helping us protect it – and the quality of water downstream – forever.


Video and still photos by Bruce Howe.

Are you (or someone you know) curious about land protection options? Call Bruce Howe, SWMLC Land Protection Specialist, or Emily Wilke, SWMLC Conservation Projects Manager, for a confidential conversation at 269-324-1600. For general information about land protection options for landowners, check the pages under the dropdown menu item Protect Your Land.