Jeptha Lake Fen — A Must-See Vista

August is the best time to visit Jeptha Lake Fen.  The boardwalk, built by SWMLC volunteers, will take you out into the fen, where the blazing star is now in spectacular bloom.  Click here for preserve info and directions.

Message from Kristi, fearless leader of the Wednesday Workday Warriors:  As promised, the blazing star was in glorious display at Jeptha Lake Fen this week.  The Warriors departed from their traditional m.o. and reveled in the scenic beauty of the fen first.  We also marveled at the pitcher plants, Joe pye weed, boneset, shrubby cinquefoil, and spirea. Then we got to work and replaced some ailing boards in the boardwalk. "Bigfoot" John identified the weak boards, and "Crowbar" Dave removed them. I was the self-appointed loose screw in the outfit. In the meantime, Perennially Sunny Pam and Lepidoptera-Lover Ronda cleared all the undergrowth crowding the walkway. It looks pretty spiffy now, and worthy of your visit.

[Photo of blazing star by Kristi Chapman]



Pedaling for Pilgrim Haven

Support long-time Southwest Michigan Land Conservancy member John Lewandowski as he Pedals for Pilgrim Haven!

John is biking to raise money to create barrier-free access to open Pilgrim Haven to the public. He will pedal over 18,000 vertical feet during a 6-day bike ride.

Sponsor John in his ride! You can sponsor John by the day ($10/day would be a $60 sponsorship), by the foot climbed (1 penny per foot would be $188 sponsorship), or however you would like! All sponsorships and donations are welcomed, and will help us reach our goal of opening Pilgrim Haven that much faster.

There are two ways to donate:  send us a check (SWMLC, 6851 S. Sprinkle Rd., Portage, MI 49002) or click here to be taken to our online donation page.  Be sure to type "Pedaling for Pilgrim Haven" in the "Comments" section.

To download the flyer, click here.


Wednesday Workday Warriors . . . September 3

On Wednesday, September 3, we tackle the all-you-can-eat buffet of autumn olive at Paw Paw River Preserve.

Bring:  Bug spray, work gloves, and rubber boots for the wetter areas. 

Directions:  Carpool at 8:30 a.m. from the southwest corner of Meijer at 9th St. and West Main St. (M-43)  in Oshtemo Township.  Please RSVP. 

— Kristi

September 6: Preserve the Prairie at Wau-Ke-Na

Our September Stewardship Workday will be Saturday the 6th, from 9 a.m. to Noon. Please RSVP by Thursday, September 4, so that we have enough tools and refreshments for everyone.

One of the most unique native plant communities at Wau-Ke-Na is a small patch of wet prairie.  Without regular disturbance (flood, fire), these plants can't compete with aggressive wetland shrubs.

As summer starts to wind down, get outdoors among the blooming fringed gentian and help us knock back the shrubs for the sake of this unique patch of flora.

— Mitch

Painted Sanctuary 2015

Painted Sanctuary 2015 is now available and chock full of beautiful, original art reproductions.

You can purchase this 13-month calendar — a work of art in its own right — for only $10 at our Art Walk on Saturday, August 23, or at the SWMLC office.  

We will soon have them available for sale at the following locations: Anne's Health Foods, At Last, Frames Unlimited, Kazoo Books, Kalamazoo Institute of Arts Gallery Shop, Love Your Mother, Nature Connection, and Pierce Cedar Creek Institute.

Thirteen artists are represented in this calendar, and Amelia Hansen once again provided the illustrations, accompanied by Nate Fuller's creative text descriptions.

Be sure to get yours before they sell out!