Our newest preserve is open for quiet enjoyment! On August 15th Legacy hosted a small gathering at the Anthony & Rose Shatter Family Preserve to celebrate its opening. The daughters of Anthony and Rose Shatter—the former landowners—cut the ribbon, and guests enjoyed a ‘socially distanced’ guided nature hike led by Legacy staffers Allene Smith and Alice Elliott.
A result of strong partnerships among various Washtenaw County conservation organizations, the Shatter Preserve is Legacy’s seventh nature preserve and, unlike Legacy’s six other preserves initiated and donated by the landowners, it is our first purchased in response to a community request. Due to its complex partnership-driven acquisition structure, the road to protecting and opening it was a long one and began over three years ago.
In the spring of 2017 the Salem Township Land Preservation and Conservation Board learned that the Shatter Family had put up 25 acres of undeveloped land for sale. With its high-quality beech-maple woodland, buttonbush swamp, and approximately 7-acre wetland complex, the property was identified as a priority area for future public access by the township’s Land Preservation and Conservation Board. Unable to protect the property on its own, the Board reached out to Legacy. Legacy then reached out to the Ann Arbor Greenbelt and the Washtenaw County Natural Areas Preservation Program (NAPP) to see how we might work together to protect the property.
Eventually the partners designed a multi-organization acquisition solution; Salem Township paid the administrative fees for the sale, the Ann Arbor Greenbelt and WCPARC pooled their resources so the land could be purchased, and Legacy paid the closing fees. By the fall of 2018, the acquisition was complete. The property was protected, and Legacy assumed responsibility for maintaining it in perpetuity as the Anthony & Rose Shatter Family Preserve.
After all the paperwork was filed and the Preserve was protected, there was quite a bit of work to do before ‘opening’ it to the public. For the next year and a half, Legacy spent time creating a temporary management plan and preparing the preserve for visitors. This included creation of trails in upland portions of the preserve, and development of a temporary trailhead on Brookville Road. And while the preserve is now open to the public, the work continues. Legacy will translate our temporary management plan into a longer-term document, work toward trail system improvements, and work with Salem Township on parking solutions for public accessibility.
Protecting, preparing, and maintaining a property for public use is an enormous undertaking. But, by working with our conservation partners and the communities in our service area, Legacy is able to ensure that future generations can enjoy access to nature and a relationship with the land that makes Michigan unique.
For directions, a trail map, and more information on the Anthony & Rose Shatter Family Preserve, click here.