Southeast Michigan Land Conservancy

Southeast Michigan Land Conservancy news and reports.

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Southeast Michigan Land Conservancy
The Southeast Michigan Land Conservancy conserves natural land and open space -- including forests, wetlands, meadows, agricultural lands, and places of scenic beauty -- to provide habitat for wildlife and to enrich the lives of people.

Giving Options

 Donate To SMLC

How Can I Protect My Land?
SMLC Nature Preserves
SMLC Community Organic Garden
Join our Email List

SMLC Local Chapters:
Monroe County Chapter
Superior Township Chapter

Funding Opportunity: SMLC’s new Stewardship Fund

Volunteers and staff building boardwalks through muddy areas
SMLC recently received a $75,000 challenge grant award from The Carls Foundation to startup a much-needed SMLC Stewardship Fund.  This is a 1:1 match and SMLC needs to raise $75,000 by year-end in order to receive this donation.    
If you are eager to help, please note “Stewardship Fund Campaign” when you mail in your check made payable to “Southeast Michigan Land Conservancy” or donate online here.  This new public fund will help pay for ongoing conservation easement and nature preserve stewardship, and equipment and building repairs and maintenance.


Save the Dates

SMLC’s Red Barn Bash is Back!

Virtual Kickoff: Saturday, October 2nd

At-Home Experience: October 2nd – 29th  
Ticket Price: $50

In-Person Event: Saturday, October 23rd
Time: 6:00-9:00 p.m.

Place: Ypsilanti Freighthouse, Ypsilanti (in historic Depot Town)

Ticket Price: $75 combined At-Home Experience / In-person Event

Red Barn Bash Logo

This year’s Red Barn Bash is all about the Naturehood – a place where we experience the beauty and wonder of local woods, wetlands and prairies and unite for conservation.
The new At-Home Experience will feature exclusive conservation videos, a fun SMLC Trivia Night; and other TBD activities that you can enjoy safely from home.

The In-Person Event will follow all required COVID-related protocols. Attendees will gather to learn about SMLC’s recent conservation successes while enjoying local food and drinks. Event planning is in the works.

2021 RBB Corporate and Donor sponsorships are available and appreciated - click here for more information.

Trail Updates:

NOW OPEN - Jack R. Smiley Nature Preserve, Sibley Prairie Nature Preserve - West Prairie

With the recent dry spell, SMLC has re-opened the trails at Jack R. Smiley Nature Preserve and Sibley Prairie - West Prairie. West Prairie has a lot of mosquitos, so we encourage using bug repellant!

Contact Julie with any questions at


The Spring Landmarks Newsletter
is now Online!


Click here to read the 2020 Annual Report
and learn about migrating birds in the Greenway.


SMLC's Safely Re-Open Plan

Like many of you, SMLC is looking forward to returning to our normal operational activities when it is safe for our staff, volunteers, and event participants to do so. This past summer, SMLC created a Safely Re-Open Plan and a COVID-19 Preparedness and Response Plan to help guide our return to work and events.  Unfortunately, due to the continued case situation in Michigan we made the tough decision to cancel all remaining planned events and public volunteer activities for the foreseeable future.  SMLC's office also continues to be closed to the general public until further notice and some of our staff are primarily working remotely. 

If you need to reach a staff person, please call our office at 734-484-6565 but note that it could take a few days to receive your message or email:

Jill Lewis, Executive Director, at

Julie McLaughlin, Stewardship and Outreach Manager, at

Kathy Hammond, Office Specialist, at

Finally, SMLC's nature preserves continue to remain open to the public daily from dawn until dusk. If you visit an SMLC preserve, please practice social distancing (6 feet apart) and don't visit if you are sick.

Thank you.


SMLC Acquires 80 acres in the Northern Superior Greenway at end of 2019

We are excited to announce that SMLC completed the purchase of 80 acres of woods, wetlands, and open space at the end of 2019.  Through our partnership with the City of Ann Arbor and Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation Commission, we have added this significant piece to the Superior Greenway, a 2,800-acre wildlife and public recreation corridor.  

From the Press Release:
SMLC acquired the property from the Marissa A. Stepien Living Trust and Washtenaw County acquired a conservation easement on the property.  The City was a major funder of both acquisitions.  SMLC intends to name the new preserve, the Secrest Nature Preserve, in honor of a local family who have been instrumental in supporting land protection efforts in Superior Township and across the region for many years.

Click here to read the full Press Release.

Oak-hickory forest at the Secrest Nature Preserve. Photo by Mark Even.


Local Chapter News:

Superior Township Chapter

The Superior Township Chapter is dedicated to supporting SMLC's conservation efforts in Superior Township.

Click here to read the 2020 Superior Township Chapter Update Newsletter (color PDF).

See the Calendar of Events below for Superior Township Chapter and SMLC events, posted as they are scheduled.

For more information about the Superior Township Chapter, click here or contact Brenda Baker at or Bill Secrest at (734) 482-5957

Downy Woodpecker

Lots of Downy Woodpeckers make Superior Township their home. Photo by Charles Scott

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SMLC on Facebook

Check us out and "like" us.

Sign up for SMLC Events, keep up with the latest SMLC news, and hear stories about the benefit of SMLC's work at our new Facebook page. If you are new to Facebook, signup is free. If you are already on Facebook, you know what to do - "like" us and see what's new at SMLC.

Southeast Michigan Land Conservancy  |  8383 Vreeland Road, Superior Township, MI 48198  |  (734) 484-6565
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