The Legacy Land Conservancy and Michigan Department of Natural Resources partnered to add 25 acres of land to the Waterloo Recreation Area. The protected parcel is located on the west side of Reithmiller road, just north of Moeckel road, bordering the Waterloo Recreation Area to the north and west. The Legacy Land Conservancy assisted in the transaction by providing the funding necessary to appraise the parcel.
The protected property features rolling hills and a dense, mixed hardwood forest. The property is also situated next to a nesting habitat for Henslow’s sparrows, a threatened species in the State of Michigan. Protecting the land will prevent development from further fragmenting the Waterloo Recreation Area, while also protecting the fragile Henslow’s sparrow habitat.
The Waterloo Recreation Area spans over 20,000 acres and includes several diverse natural habitats. Because of the inherent ecological value of the park, as well as its sheer size, the DNR and Conservancy see further fragmentation as a threat to the park and the habitats within it. For that reason, the Conservancy and the DNR have made it a priority to protect land around the Recreation Area.
DNR Director of Acquisition Paul Yauk said that purchasing this land was an important step in DNR’s protection efforts. “It is a priority for our office to purchase lands for public use in an area where there is high demand and where the public can easily utilize these properties,” said Yauk.
The newly acquired property will be available for public recreational uses, including hiking and hunting. Through land protection, Legacy Land Conservancy and the DNR have been able to ensure these 25 acres will still be available for use by the public for years to come.