Land Conservancy of West Michigan

Courtesy Photograph / Land Conservancy of West Michigan

A 25-year struggle is almost over to save two acres of beach and dunes from development in Muskegon County.

The property will expand the Barrier Dunes Sanctuary and add 204 feet of undeveloped Lake Michigan shoreline to the existing 1,100 feet of public land, bringing the total length to one-quarter mile.

The land had been slated for a road and home construction.

Gov. Rick Snyder signed legislation this week to allocate $300,000 to help buy the scenic two-acre parcel. 

Lindsey Smith / Michigan Radio

Purple Loosestrife is a widespread invasive plant. It’s taken over wetlands in every state in the US except Florida. But now, scientists consider Purple Loostrife an invasive species success story.

Purple Loosestrife are the tall bright purple flowering plants you see mixed in with cattails lining the edge of many lakes and wetlands.

A long road before success

The Land Conservancy of West Michigan

The City of Saugatuck has taken ownership of nearly 173-acres of dune land on the shores of Lake Michigan. A coalition of conservationists and foundations has worked for more than 6 years to buy the property from a private developer.

Norm Hoekstra / Creative Commons

Governor Rick Snyder signed the bill authorizing more than $102 million in grant money for more than 100 recreation projects and land acquisitions across the state. Michigan Radio’s Lindsey Smith reports one of the largest grants will preserve dune-land along the Lake Michigan shore.

Peter Homeyer is executive director of The Land Conservancy of West Michigan.

“West Michigan and a lot of communities around the state are going to see projects now that are going to add to parkland and improve parks right close to home where folks can get out and enjoy nature with this new bill.