Back the Dunes!

County: Muskegon 43 acres

Help us write the next chapter for Flower Creek Dunes Nature Preserve

We have been working with you to write the story of Flower Creek Dunes Nature Preserve since 2012, when we protected 14 acres of precious Lake Michigan shoreline in Muskegon County—so special it was once eyed for designation as a national park. In 2017, our generous supporters “doubled the dunes,” growing the preserve to 31 acres in size and creating more connected habitat for the rare plants and wildlife that call this unique environment home. 

Now, with your help, we have a chance to protect the world of mystery on the other side of the dunes, and once again more than double the preserve’s size. 

The Land Conservancy of West Michigan has a limited-time opportunity to purchase 43 acres of forested backdune habitat to add to Flower Creek Dunes Nature Preserve. 

The Land Conservancy must raise $200,000 to ensure this property’s permanent protection. This beautiful piece of land would sell quickly to a private owner if it were to hit the market. With your help, we can protect this special place. But we must act now!

An anonymous donor has generously offered $80,000 in matching funds to amplify the impact of the first donors to this project. Make a donation today to ensure this unique and important ecosystem is protected for generations to come!

The Property

The property contains 43 acres of forested backdune habitat—75 percent of which is state-designated critical dunes. Flower Creek Dunes Nature Preserve contains undeveloped Lake Michigan shoreline and towering, shifting dunes—habitat that is increasingly rare and difficult to protect. This property encompasses dune ridges and valleys that begin on the preserve and extend into the property. Protecting it would preserve the natural connection within the landscape. Together with Meinert County Park and Flower Creek Dunes Nature Preserve, this property would create a total of 255 acres of connected, permanently protected natural land in the area. 

Steep dune ridges provide stunning views of the deep green, sloping forest landscape. Birds like pileated woodpecker, vireo, and American redstart soar in the overstory, while red fox and white-tailed deer quietly roam the understory. The property is forested with Eastern hemlock, red oak, maple and more. The forest floor is covered wildflowers such as spring beauty, trout lily and Dutchman’s breeches in spring and mushrooms of all varieties in fall

History

The property has a rich history rooted in human connection with the land. In the late 1800s, the Huston family settled here and started a logging operation. A century later, the Rausches built a cabin along the nearby shoreline. In 1994, Doug and Gretchen Paprocki fell in love with the property’s natural character, purchased the land and later protected it with a conservation agreement. Now, they hope to sell it to the Land Conservancy as a key addition Flower Creek Dunes Nature Preserve.

What Happens Next

If acquired, the property will be part of Flower Creek Dunes Nature Preserve, enabling the Land Conservancy protect and manage the connected habitats as one unit—ensuring the continued health of the landscape and the diverse plants and wildlife that call it home.

Until it is purchased, the property remains private and closed to public access. In the meantime, we are working on a virtual tour to show you the property’s special natural features. Stay tuned!

We need your help to protect Flower Creek’s backdunes. Please—maximize the impact of your support with a donation today!

Back the Dunes with a Donation Today!

Back the Dunes!

We need your support to ensure this property is protected forever. Will you back the dunes with a donation today?

Donate Now
Map of potential addition. Click to enlarge.

Nearby Natural Areas

Anderson Woods Nature Preserve

Anderson Woods Nature Preserve is a forested natural area near Muskegon, Whitehall, and Montague. A wheelchair and stroller accessible trail system leads visitors through a towering oak and white pine forest, interspersed with glades lush with blueberry and wintergreen.

Read More

Flower Creek Dunes Nature Preserve

Located in northern Muskegon County, Flower Creek Dunes Nature Preserve protects unspoiled dune habitat along the lakeshore. A boardwalk leading to an overlook provides panoramic views of Lake Michigan and the surrounding dunes.

Read More

Meinert County Park

There are no trails leading through this rugged dune property. Steep, forested ridges are interwoven with narrow valleys. Tucked in the dune hills are wetlands and a small pond.

Read More

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