Winter Soundwalk at Chipman Preserve

Southwest Michigan Land Conservancy (SWMLC) is once again offering a field trip led by soundscape ecologists, Dr. Sharon Gill and Rachel Stiening.
Because the summer and fall 2014 soundwalks were so successful, winter and spring soundwalks are being offered during 2015.
Take a walk through Chipman Preserve with experts on the acoustics of nature and soundscapes.  A soundscape is the collective sounds of an area.  These researchers from Western Michigan University will share their insights into understanding science and patterns of sound in natural environments and how those sounds influence the well-being of its inhabitants, including humans.
The winter field trip will take place Saturday, February 7, from 10 a.m. to Noon.  Call now to reserve your spot — space is limited.  To RSVP, call Miko Dargitz at the SWMLC office (269-324-1600) or email her at
If you cannot attend this fascinating event, you are encouraged to keep an ear open to noise and consider how it affects you and the wildlife around you as you enjoy our natural areas.
Please note that staying quiet is essential to perceiving the sounds of nature, so this field trip is offered for adults only.  (And no dogs, please.)
[Photo of Chipman Preserve by Peter D. Ter Louw.]

Winter Tike Hikes

Join us for this new activity — family hikes on our nature preserves!  SWMLC board member Jen Lau has been leading these every Sunday, and plans to continue through February.

Weekly hikes last about 1 hour at typical toddler pace:  lots of stops, wandering in the wrong direction, pausing to eat snow, etc.

All hikes are on Sunday mornings at 10:30 a.m. and depend on weather conditions for that day. (Please check our Facebook page for updates the morning of the hike.)  Click on the preserve name below for directions and additional preserve information.

February 1 at Chipman Preserve

February 8 at Chipman Preserve

February 15 at Chipman Preserve

February 22 at Chipman Preserve

If you have any questions, call our office at (269) 324-1600.

Save a Savanna February 21

With all the leaves off of the trees creating long sight-lines, winter is the perfect time to appreciate the rolling topography and bowl-like kettles and hills at KL Avenue Nature Preserve.

KL is a fairly new preserve for us but, boy, have we been busy!  Our oak savanna restoration is in full swing, so here's your opportunity to come out, take a look, and give us a hand at cutting back invasive shrubs and fast-growing trees to open up the light for oak seedlings and wildflowers that will pop up in the spring.

Saturday, February 21, 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.  Email Mitch at to let him know you're coming.

Painted Sanctuary 2015

Painted Sanctuary 2015 is still available for sale for only $10 at our office or from the retailers listed below.

Get yours while supplies last!

Anne's Health Foods in Hastings
At Last in Glenn
Frames Unlimited (3 locations)
Kazoo Books (both locations)
Kalamazoo Institute of Arts Gallery Shop
Love Your Mother in Three Rivers
Nature Connection, downtown Kalamazoo
Pierce Cedar Creek Institute in Hastings