Southeast Michigan Land Conservancy

Southeast Michigan Land Conservancy news and reports.

Website Design Michigan

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

Trail Closures:

Jack R. Smiley Nature Preserve

Sibley Prairie Nature Preserve - West Prairie

With spring showers comes muddy trails. To protect your feet and the sensitive wetlands, we have temporarily closed sections of the Superior Greenway Nature Trail at the Jack R. Smiley Nature Preserve. By staying off this trail now, you can help us reduce maintenance later on, and provide a safe space for breeding salamanders and frogs who rely on temporary wetlands located there.

Also closed is the trail at West Prairie. This globally rare lakeplain prairie habitat is prone to seasonal flooding, and is typically closed in the spring through early summer.

Contact Julie with any questions at



Trail CLosure Sign at West Prairie

Trail Closure Sign at West Prairie.

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: Morris-Reichert, Heritage Oaks, Lost Lake, and Sibley Prairie nature preserves.

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


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 2021 Landmarks newsletter (PDF)

Light streaming through the canopy of Lefurge Woods

LeFurge Woods Nature Preserve, Superior Greenway, Washtenaw County.
Photo by Mark Even.

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

Facebook Logo

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
About    |    News    |    Projects    |    Donate    |    Volunteer    |    Contact