Dayton Wet Prairie Preserve
Dayton Wet Prairie Preserve, located on Curran Road in Bertrand Township, is a 40-acre mosaic of wet prairie, prairie fen, scrub-shrub, and forest communities containing a variety of grasses, flowers, and shrubs. Additionally, McCoy Creek meanders quietly through the property and several old man-made ditches are present. According to an ecological survey, several state and federally protected plants and animals are found here.
Chikaming Open Lands’ management of the Preserve is focused on restoring the native wetland plant community through removal of invasive species and restoring the natural hydrology of the wetland. In 2012, four cedar plank "plugs" were installed in a ditch in the center of the property to block water flow. These structures reduced the water flow in the ditch, forcing the water to back up and saturate the land. Efforts to remove invasive plant species are ongoing, and prescribed burns are also used periodically to stimulate growth of the native grasses and wildflowers. Chikaming Open Lands has partnered with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and Michigan Department of Natural Resources for habitat restoration and invasive species control projects.
The Preserve was originally acquired by The Nature Conservancy (TNC) in two parts: the first 20-acre parcel on the north side of Curran Road was donated to TNC in 1978, and the 20-acre parcel south of Curran Road was purchased by TNC in 1985. In 2011, TNC transferred the property to Chikaming Open Lands.
Currently, there is no designated parking area or trail system at Dayton Wet Prairie Preserve. Due to the sensitive nature of the ecosystem and ongoing restoration efforts, we ask that you contact us if you wish to visit and tour the nature preserve.