Eleanor O'Connor Wilson Woods Preserve
Located in Lakeside, Eleanor O'Connor Wilson Woods Preserve is a five-acre dune forest in a relatively developed area close to Lake Michigan. This preserve protects a seasonally wet woodland and serves the community by providing scenic views, protecting the ecological community, and purifying water draining into Lake Michigan. Despite its small size, this preserve boasts a pleasantly high floristic quality.
Eleanor O'Connor Wilson Woods Preserve was the first property protected by Chikaming Open Lands. Nearly 20 years ago, the property harbored many invasive plants, but thanks to consistent stewardship activities by the organization and neighbors, a stroll through the preserve today will reveal few invasive populations. After all this restoration work, what's left behind is a nice example of a back-dune plant community dominated by beech and maple trees.
Chikaming Open Lands completed the purchase of this preserve in 2001 from the Eleanor O'Connor Wilson Trust, the namesake of the property. The funds used for this purchase were donated by neighbors wanting the forest to remain in a natural state rather than being developed.
The Preserve is located on Lakeshore Road in Lakeside between Brown Road and Meadow Lane. There is no designated parking and the property does not have a trail system. No bicycles or motorized vehicles. No hunting.