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Jens Jensen Preserve

Jens Jensen Preserve is a 25-acre tract of forest and wetland located off Parkway Drive west of Red Arrow Highway and south of Holloway Drive in Sawyer. The Preserve contains a high quality beech-maple forest featuring towering oak, maple, beech, and tulip poplar along with seasonal wetlands. An adjacent natural area owned by the Michigan Nature Association is called Pepperidge Dunes Sanctuary. Together, these nature areas preserve 45 acres and are critical in maintaining a corridor of forest canopy for migratory birds that stretches from Warren Dunes State Park to Cherry Beach Road. This corridor provides habitat for the birds to rest and feed during their journeys up and down the lakeshore in the spring and fall.

The Preserve is named for Jens Jensen, a landscape architect working in the Midwest at the turn of the century. Jensen revered and celebrated the area’s indigenous scenery by creating the Prairie style of landscape architecture and leading a movement to conserve natural areas.

Acquired in 2015, the purchase of the property was funded by more than 160 neighbors and community members, who came together to raise approximately 50% of the purchase cost in less than four months. The remaining funds were provided by Chikaming Open Lands using funds previously raised for land acquisitions from a combination of individual donors and The Pokagon Fund.

Jens Jensen Preserve features an extensive, maintained trail network suitable for hiking, bird watching, or cross-country skiing. From Red Arrow Highway, go west on Parkway Drive, located just north of Sawyer Highlands Church. Parking is along the roadside. No bicycles or motorized vehicles. No hunting. Leashed dogs are welcome. Please stay on marked trails.

This preserve was acquired in part with funding from The Pokagon Fund.

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