Saugatuck Harbor Natural Area with Suzanne DeVries-Zimmerman, Adj. Asst. Prof., Hope College, Environmental Science.
This magnificent dune ecosystem includes an amazing diversity of habitats and resources: Lake Michigan shoreline, populations of at least six rare plant and animal species including the prairie warbler (state endangered status) and Blanchard’s cricket frog (state threatened), open dunes, interdunal wetlands, natural jack pine forest, hardwood-pine dune forest, Great Lakes marsh, an oxbow lake, the south pier of the Kalamazoo River mouth, Kalamazoo River shoreline, and a historic site known as “Fishtown”. This area has historic significance as the site of the original mouth of the Kalamazoo River. In 1906, the present channel was constructed and blowing sand closed the original river mouth, creating the Oxbow Lagoon. Visitors can still see the old pilings from the original river opening extending out into Lake Michigan.
Perryman St., Saugatuck, MI 49453, north of oval beach. Car pool options from Kalamazoo area will follow.