MONTAGUE, Mich. — Visitors of a public nature preserve in western Michigan can enjoy more Lake Michigan frontage as the result of a nearly $2 million project.
The Land Conservancy of West Michigan recently announced that another 17 acres (7 hectares) of Lake Michigan sand dunes has been added to its Flower Creek Dunes Nature Preserve near Montague, the Muskegon Chronicle reported .
More than 100 private donors and grants helped fund the expansion, which more than doubles the original 14-acre (6-hectare) preserve. The area is home to the endangered Pitcher’s thistle plant and is visited by the piping plovers, which are endangered shorebirds.
The new land was previously private property that had been on sale for the past two years. An anonymous donor “with a generous gift and a passion to add this piece of property to the preserve” later sparked a $1.95 million campaign, according to a news release from the conservancy.
The original preserve acres were acquired through a similar fundraising campaign in 2012. The campaign raised about $1.75 million to purchase and establish the acreage.
An existing dune trail will be extended in the upcoming months to connect the new parcel and create a lookout over Great Lakes marshland.
A public hike and dedication will be held May 19.
Information from: The Muskegon Chronicle, http://www.mlive.com/muskegon