Upcoming Events


Saturday, September 12, 2015, at 9:45 a.m.

Marc's Marsh Preserve, Comstock Township, Kalamazoo County

Nate Fuller, SWMLC's Conservation & Stewardship Director, will lead a field trip at Marc’s Marsh Preserve, a beautiful, wildflower-filled fen just east of Kalamazoo along the south shore of Lyons Lake.  Fen wildflowers peak in late summer and Marc's Marsh boasts a lengthy list that includes lesser-fringed gentian, marsh blazing-star, swamp and tufted-loosestrife, bladderwort, swamp thistle, as well as wetland goldenrods and asters.  Fen management has included controlling invasive shrubs and hybrid cattails, prescribed burns, and the successful introduction of purple loosestrife beetles.

The fen will be wet with some areas several inches deep so waterproof footwear is highly recommended.

Because parking is very limited at the preserve, we will carpool to the preserve from the parking lot of the Kalamazoo Covenant Church, 5708 East Main St, at the southwest corner of East Main St. and N. 26th St. in ComstockTownship – across from Comstock High School. North 26th St. is about one-half mile east of Sprinkle Rd. The preserve is on the north side of East Main St., less than a half mile from the church. Please arrive at the church parking lot by 9:45 am.




Saturday, September 12, 2015, 10:00 a.m. TO 12:00 p.m.

Corey Lake - North Bay Preserve, just west of Three Rivers in Fabius Township, St. Joseph County

Please join us in celebrating the dedication of this new preserve with coffee and donuts. There will be opportunities to explore this special property and to learn more about conservation efforts at Corey Lake. We look forward to seeing you there!

From Kalamazoo, travel south on US-131. Turn right (west) onto Coon Hollow Road near Three Rivers, then travel approximately 4 miles to the preserve entrance near the intersection of Coon Hollow Road and Clear Lake Road. Visitors may park in front of the gate on the east side of Clear Lake Road.


PAAWM Paint-Outs 2015

The Plein Air Artists of West Michigan (PAAWM) paint outdoors in natural light twice a month, all year long.  Most of their paint-outs take place on protected SWMLC properties, and you are invited to attend those held on public preserves.  Paint-outs are on Saturdays.  They begin at 9 a.m. and end around 1 p.m.  Below is a list of all paint-outs on SWMLC properties scheduled for 2015.

For more information on PAAWM, visit their website.

January 10 - Prairieville Creek Conservation Easements, Richland

February 14 - Aurohn Lake Conservation Easement, Hastings

February 28 - Bow in the Clouds Preserve, Kalamazoo

March 14 - Hidden Marsh Sanctuary, Three Rivers

March 28 - KL Avenue Nature Preserve, Kalamazoo

April 11 - Kesling Nature Preserve, Three Oaks

April 25 - Spirit Springs Sanctuary, Marcellus

May 9 - Perry Family Farm Conservation Easement, Cloverdale

May 23 - Hidden Pond Preserve, Hastings

June 13 - Prairieville Creek Conservation Easements, Richland

June 27 - Black River Preserve, South Haven

July 11 - Ismond Conservation Easement, Otsego

August 8 - Bonamego Farms Conservation Easement, Lawrence

August 22 or 29 - Art Walk, firm date and location TBD

September 12 - Jeptha Lake Fen, Grand Junction

September 17-20 - Fall Retreat, location TBD

October 24 - Chipman Preserve, Galesburg

November 14 - Palmer Conservation Easement, Battle Creek

You Just Missed This One . . . Recent Past Events


Saturday, August 29, 2015
11 a.m. - 4 p.m.

details below . . .


Pilgrim Haven Natural Area, South Haven - a beautiful new location for this very popular event!

Come see the beauty of woods and water captured in paint as members of the Plein Air Artists of West Michigan, Ottawa Shores Plein Air and the Great Lakes Plein Air Painters Association create their works of art in real time during the 8th Annual Art Walk event. 

Debut of the 2016 Painted Sanctuary Calendar
Buy one for $10 and you will be automatically entered to win an original painting by Richard Jordan, of the Plein Air Artists of West Michigan! Raffle begins at 3:30 p.m.

Painting Demonstrations

Enjoy plein air painting demonstrations throughout the day by some of the area’s top landscape artists.

Kathleen Kalinowski – 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Susan Badger – 1:00 p.m. to 2:00 p.m.
Richard Jordan – 2:30 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

Art Exhibit and Sale
Some of the best plein air artists in Michigan will have paintings on display and for sale. You can even purchase paintings that the artists are creating during the event. A portion of all painting sales will benefit SWMLC. Support the arts while supporting land protection!

The Beauty of Pilgrim Haven
Walk the trails through woods and meadows, visit the beach, chat with artists as they work, and learn about our plans to create public access at this historic preserve. 


Pilgrim Haven Natural Area, South Haven, MI
The preserve is located approximately 4 miles south of South Haven. From the intersection of M-43 and Blue Star Highway, travel south on Blue Star for 3.2 miles. Turn right onto 77th St. for about 1⁄4 mile, then left onto 18th Ave. The preserve is on the right. Please follow the posted signs for parking.