Dune park conservationists mark victory

The dunes in White River Township. (Jerry Grady/Land Conservancy of West Michigan)

WHITE RIVER TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD)—A community effort to save a stretch of pristine dunes on Lake Michigan’s shore has succeeded.

Rep. Holly Hughes said after years of work, the Land Conservancy of West Michigan and White River Township raised the $970,000 needed to buy two acres of private property near White River Trails Barrier Dunes Park.

Developers wanted to build a road through the dunes to access the landlocked property. Supporters of the park said that would have upset the fragile ecosystem of the area.

The purchase ensures the White River Trails Barrier Dunes Park near Montague will not be developed.

“It looks like something out of a movie set. It really looks like a little piece of heaven. We want to preserve that for future generations, and now we’re able to do that,” said Hughes.

The funding included a grant of $300,000.

The park will be approximately 14 acres after the acquisition, which should happen by the middle of next year.

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