Outdoorsman and nature lovers alike will soon be able to enjoy a new nature preserve here in west Michigan as the 140-acre Armintrout-Milbocker Nature Preserve has announced their opening date in Allegan.

In late 2021 the Southwest Michigan Land Conservancy (SWMLC) announced it had secure acreage along the Kalamazoo River near M-89 in Allegan for a new nature preserve, a project that's been in the works for over 25 years according to media outlet WSJM.

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Named for two prominent families in Allegan, the Armintrout-Milbocker Nature Preserve will include 40 acres of diverse wetland, 100 acres of pine and oak forests, and features 3 miles of water frontage along the Kalamazoo River.

Though there were several small trails that existed before the conservation group acquired the land, the group has spent the last 6 months adding new trails, a parking lots, signage, and a trailhead.

Naturally, the conservation group is also working to restore the wildlife habitat along the Kalamazoo River. According to the preserve's website the land along the Kalamazoo River in Allegan is "botanically rich, with an incredible 560 plant species calling it home – including 10 that are either endangered or threatened in Michigan!"

With the work nearly complete, the SWMLC has announced a grand opening date of October 15, 2022-- just in time to catch some peak fall foliage!

Says Mark Mills, Conservation Biologist with the Michigan DNR,

The conservation of the Armintrout-Milbocker property is part of a broad partnership to protect and restore the Kalamazoo River for this, and future, generations of people and wildlife...through these efforts to “rewild” the river we are providing natural places for fish, birds and wildlife while encouraging a quality waterway for outdoor recreation

I know myself and my fellow Allegan residents are eager to get out an explore this new area! You can find out more about the new Armintrout-Milbocker Nature Preserve here.

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