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304 Acres in Berrien Township: Our Largest Conservation Easement Ever!

Posted on March 12, 2015

In late December, we received a donation of a conservation easement on 304 acres consisting of high-quality wetlands, woods, lakes and prime farmland in Berrien Township. The property is one of the few undivided and undeveloped parcels of its size remaining in Berrien County, making it a significant acquisition for us!

"With acres of rolling agricultural fields, two lakes, mature woodlands of beech-maple, oak-hickory and sycamore, sedge meadows and extensive wetlands, this property is really something special," says COL executive director Chris Thompson. "Berrien County has lost almost 60 percent of its original wetlands, which are critical to improving water quality, protecting wildlife habitat and minimizing potential flooding. This conservation easement protects more than 100 acres of high quality wetlands, and that alone makes this a very important project for us."

The conservation easement, which extinguishes the development rights on the 304 acres in perpetuity, was a full donation by the landowners, Kevin and Michelle Mize. "Rare pieces of property like this will continue to get more scarce as the population grows," says Kevin. "This easement will protect the land from development and preserve (natural) habitat for fish, birds, mammals, plants and trees…for generations to come." Kevin says his family enjoys spending time on the two lakes on the property. He is also creating trails through the property so that he and his children can enjoy the hardwood forest and the unusual flowers that bloom in the wetland areas.

Aside from being the largest land protection project we've ever completed,its the largest donation we've ever had the privilege to accept. And, of course, it's a stunning tract of land... we couldn't be more excited!