Visitors to a public nature preserve in western Michigan will be able to enjoy an additional 17 acres (7 hectares) of Lake Michigan sand dunes as the result of a $1.95 million project. The Land Conservancy of West Michigan has announced the added 1,000 feet (305 meters) of Lake Michigan frontage and 1,200 feet along the Big Flower Creek to the Flower Creek Dunes Nature Preserve near Montague.
More than 100 private donors and grants helped fund the expansion, which more than doubles the original 14-acre (6-hectare) preserve. It's home to the endangered plant, Pitcher's thistle, and is also visited by the endangered shorebird, piping plovers.
An existing dune trail will be extended in the upcoming months to connect the new parcel. A public hike and dedication will be held May 19 in the parking lot at Meinert County Park.