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

Donate through #GivingTuesdayNow
THANK YOU for helping SMLC achieve our latest goal of $5,000 for #GivingTuesdayNow.

If you didn't have a chance to give on May 5th, Giving Tuesday’s national day of support, it's not too late - the Giving Tuesday Now matching gift campaign runs through May 26th, click here to visit our fundraiser page.

Every dollar raised by SMLC counts towards our match potential - thank you to everyone who has already given! 

If you are not able to give financially at this time, we understand and we hope that everyone is able to visit our preserves for fresh air, healing and respite. 
Nature is here for you. 

Water lilies at lost Lake Nature Preserve


SMLC Response to COVID-19

Due to the extension of the Governor’s Executive Order:  Stay Home, Stay Safe, Stay Lives, the SMLC office remains closed until further notice except for designated essential workers who are in the office at limited times per the Order.  There are no outreach or volunteer events or activities on SMLC properties until further notice.

To maintain operations, some of our staff are working remotely.  If you need to reach a staff person, please email:

Jill Lewis, Executive Director, at

Julie McLaughlin, Stewardship and Outreach Manager, at


The good news is that SMLC’s nature preserves remain open to the public daily from dawn until dusk.  If you visit an SMLC preserve, please practice social distancing (6 feet apart), do not gather with individuals from outside of your household, and don’t visit if you are sick. 

Willows in spring at LeFurge Woods Nature Preserve. Photo by Mark Even.


Earth Day 50th Anniversary!

Earth Day 50th Anniversary Logo

SMLC is proud to celebrate the 50th Anniversary of Earth Day by remembering the results of the early advocacy and citizen actions, and by encouraging all of us to reflect on the environmental improvements that we've experienced because of those efforts:  cleaner air, cleaner water, trash-less wildlife habitats, enjoyable natural areas.

Thank you to all who have worked to help our planet then and now - we appreciate you!

April 22nd marks 50 years since the first Earth Day event took place in 1970. The initial Earth Day movement achieved a rare political alignment, enlisting support from Republicans and Democrats, rich and poor, urban dwellers and farmers, business and labor leaders. By the end of 1970, the first Earth Day led to the creation of the United States Environmental Protection Agency and the passage of the Clean Air, Clean Water and Endangered Species Acts.

Now, the fight for a clean environment continues with increasing urgency, as the ravages of climate change become more and more apparent every day. This work has always depended on people coming together for the greater good.

So what can you do when we can’t celebrate in-person? Here are some local activities you and your household can enjoy!

SMLC – Celebrate the Emergence of Spring with your nature photographs.  Take photos that represent your household out enjoying an SMLC nature preserve and the seasonal beauty around you.  If you’d like to send select photos to SMLC for possible consideration for use in our social media and future print publications, please email them to Julie at and include the following:

1.           A statement that SMLC has permission to use your photos in our publications.

2.           Your first and last name (for photo credit).

3.           A short description of the photo subject matter.  For example:  the stream crossing at LeFurge Woods Nature Preserve.

Spring Invasive Species Challenge: Garlic Mustard - Want to work together from a distance? Keep an eye out for the first invasive species of the season, Garlic Mustard! Pull and bag the plant on your own property, or if you see this plant while out on an SMLC preserve, please take a photo with your location services turned on and send it to

Rouge Rescue at Home - Join an ONLINE Rouge-wide challenge! Compete with your friends and neighbors to complete meaningful Rouge Rescue activities at your home. 


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.


Give to SMLC

"Southeast Michigan: a beautiful place where people and nature
coexist in healthy, sustainable balance."

SMLC's vision statement expresses how we feel about this special place we call home. Preserving natural areas and farmlands is good for all of us. SMLC is doing our part: more than 3,400 acres have been protected in this region through our efforts. You too can do your part by giving to the SMLC "We Care" Campaign.

To make a safe and secure online donation to SMLC, click here

To download a printable form you can mail to our office along with your personal check made payable to "Southeast Michigan Land Conservancy" click here 

You can continue the momentum and help SMLC become even stronger:

Click here to read SMLC's latest appeal letter (PDF)

Click here to read our Spring 2019 Landmarks newsletter (PDF)


Springhill Nature Preserve, Superior Greenway, Washtenaw County.
Photo by Charles Scott

Kroger Community Rewards

You can support SMLC every time you use
your Kroger Plus Card.

It's easy to sign up!

Click here to link or re-link
your Kroger Plus Card to SMLC

Volunteers Needed!

Interested in volunteering?  Opportunities include: stewardship workdays at nature preserves, mailing parties at the office, and helping maintain our historic farmhouse. Here are some other ways you can get involved:

Stewardship Assistant – Assist SMLC Stewardship staff with management of our Superior Greenway nature preserves. Includes trail upkeep, invasive species management, grounds maintenance, and more.

Conservancy Farmhouse Beautifying and Upkeep – Responsibilities include monthly and annual cleaning and upkeep of our historic Conservancy Farmhouse. SMLC will provide cleaning supplies and direction regarding historic house elements.

Preserve Watcher – Monitor SMLC nature preserve property conditions, assist with minor trail maintenance, and report findings bi-monthly. Needed at: Heritage Oaks, Pittsfield Stream Corridor, and Springhill nature preserves.

Contact Julie McLaughlin, Stewardship and Outreach Specialist, to discuss volunteer interest at or 734-484-6565


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 2019 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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