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Preserving Land

Chikaming Open Lands' (COL) mission is to preserve the diverse natural beauty of this corner of Southwest Michigan. We accomplish this in two ways: conservation easements and nature preserves.

Private land ownership is a vital part of our landscape and an increasing number of landowners want to conserve the lands they love. COL partners with landowners by placing conservation easements on their property to permanently preserve its open space and protect its natural or agricultural character by limiting development. This is a win-win situation: the land is protected, and the landowner maintains ownership!

Additionally, COL owns and manages property as nature preserves which are open to the public. These properties have been donated, transferred, or sold by the landowners to COL. Several preserves have trails that are actively maintained, and visitors are welcome to enjoy! Other preserves have sensitive habitat or trails that are still in development, and visitors are encouraged to arrange a visit with COL staff.

Founded in December 1999, COL protected its first five acres just two years later. Today, the organization works with many landowners and has protected land throughout southern Berrien County, preserving the one-of-a-kind natural and rural character of this area.

Protecting the Land ~ Preserving our Heritage.