Upcoming Events

2016 marks SWMLC's Silver Anniversary and it's hard to believe that so much time has passed!

There have been many changes but one constant remains: 14,000 acres of Southwest Michigan’s distinctive dunes, wetlands, forests, savannas, prairies, farms, and vineyards are now conserved and protected forever. In 2016, we're celebrating our anniversary with 25 special events that highlight our public preserves and offer fun, new activities for the whole family. Please stay tuned to this page for the most up-to-date event announcements. 

 Join us in celebrating what we’ve achieved together in 25 years of local conservation. With your help, we’re just getting started! 



The following events are free and open to the public! 


FEBRUARY 

Tike Hike
Sunday, February 14, 10:30 am11:30 am
Chipman Preserve, Comstock Twp., Kalamazoo Cnty.
details below

 

Oak Savanna Presentation by Mitch Lettow
Monday, February 15, 6:30 pm
People's Church, 1758 N. 10th St., Kalamazoo, MI  49009
details below

 

Cross-Country Skiing Under the Stars
Saturday, February 20, Time TBD
Chipman Preserve, Comstock Twp., Kalamazoo Cnty.
 

Winter Soundwalk
Sunday, February 21, 2 pm
Chipman Preserve, Comstock Twp., Kalamazoo Cnty.


Storybook Hike: A Warm Winter's Tale, presented by author Carrie Pearson
Saturday, February 27, 2:003:00 pm
Black River Preserve, Geneva Twp., Van Buren Cnty.
 

Plein Air Artists of West Michigan Paint Out
Saturday, February 27, 11 am
Chipman Preserve, Comstock Twp., Kalamazoo Cnty.
details below
 

Saturday Workday
Saturday, February 27, 1:004:00 pm
Chipman Preserve, Comstock Twp., Kalamazoo Cnty.

 



MARCH 

Plein Air Artists of West Michigan Paint Out
Saturday, March 12, 11 am
Hidden Marsh Sanctuary, Three Rivers, St. Joseph Cnty.
details below


Audubon Society of Kalamazoo Field Trip: Early Migrants
Wednesday, March 16, 
Chipman Preserve, Comstock Twp., Kalamazoo Cnty.

Saturday Workday
Saturday, March 19, 9:00 am–12:00 pm
Chipman Preserve, Comstock Twp., Kalamazoo Cnty.

Wedel’s Spring Expo: Nate Fuller and Roger Taylor Seminar(s)
Thursday - Saturday, March 17-19, Time(s) TBD


 

Tike Hike at Chipman Preserve

Connecting with nature starts with baby steps!

Free and open to the public!

WHEN:
Sunday, February 14, 10:30 -11:30 a.m.

WHERE:
Chipman Preserve, Comstock Twp., Kalamazoo County
* CHANGE IN PARKING AREA - SEE "DIRECTIONS" BELOW *

DETAILS:
Looking for a FREE, fun activity that introduces young children to the joys of winter outdoors? Join other nature-minded parents and kids for a guided Tike Hike this coming Sunday at SWMLC's Chipman Preserve. TJ Wilkinson (steadfast SWMLC supporter and volunteer) will lead a hike lasting about one hour at typical toddler pace (lots of stops, wandering in the wrong direction, stopping to make snow angels, etc.). Julie Collard and other folks from Hike It Baby will be joining us, so it's sure to be an extra merry crowd!

DIRECTIONS:
The preserve is on East Main Street, 3 miles east of Sprinkle Road and about 1/2 mile past 30th St.
* For this event, we are asking people not to park in the usual Chipman Preserve parking lot, but to instead park in the SWMLC staff lot, which is adjacent to the preserve:

- the driveway to the staff lot is the first one west of the preserve entrance (if you're coming from Kalamazoo, this would be the drive before the one into the preserve). Look for the mailbox marked 8415 (it's not ours but serves as a landmark). Look for the "SWMLC Event" sign at the driveway entrance. SWMLC shares this driveway with another house, so it will look like you're pulling into a private residence.

- follow the driveway back to the open gate, where we will post another SWMLC Event sign. Go through the gate, turn to the left and you will see SWMLC's yellow pole barn at the end of the lot. You're in the right place!


 

Oak Savanna Presentation by Mitch Lettow

Have you ever seen a pre-settlement map of the Kalamazoo area and noticed how extensive oak savannas once were in this region? Ever wonder what happened to them, and what efforts are currently being made to re-establish them? If you're curious, please join SWMLC's Stewardship Specialist Mitch Lettow for a lively presentation to the Southwestern Chapter of the Michigan Botanical Club about these important, distinctive, natural communities. It's a free event and the public is welcome!
WHEN: Monday, February 15, 6:30 p.m.
WHERE: People's Church, 1758 N. 10th St., Kalamazoo, MI

PAAWM Paint-Outs 2016

The Plein Air Artists of West Michigan (PAAWM) paint outdoors in natural light on the second and fourth Saturdays of each month, in all kinds of weather, all year long.  Many of their "paint-outs" take place on protected SWMLC properties, and you are invited to attend those held on public preserves. Watching a person paint a picture is remarkably fascinating!
 

2016 Schedule of PAAWM Paint Outs on SWMLC Preserves

January 23, 11 am
Spirit Springs Sanctuary, Marcellus Twp., Cass Cnty.

February 27, 11 am
Chipman Preserve, Comstock Twp., Kalamazoo Cnty.

March 12, 11 am
Hidden Marsh Sanctuary, Three Rivers, St. Joseph Cnty.

July 9, 9 am
Pilgrim Haven Natural Area, South Haven Twp., Van Buren Cnty.

July 23, 9 a.m.
Wau-Ke-Nau North Tract, Ganges Twp., Allegan Cnty.

October 8, 9 am
Lime Lake Preserve, Antwerp Twp., Van Buren Cnty.

November 26, 11 am
Bow in the Clouds Preserve, City of Kalamazoo