THREE OAKS — Chikaming Open Lands (COL) is holding a public dedication on June 9, 2019 at 2 p.m. EDT to celebrate the acquisition of the Chris Thompson Memorial Preserve, located on Warren Woods Road in Chikaming Township. The celebration will take place at the Lakeside Cabins Resort, which is immediately adjacent to the new nature preserve.

The event is open to the public and will include a dedication of the preserve in memory of former COL Executive Director Chris Thompson, who passed away unexpectedly in 2016. Guided walks of the 49-acre property, which features open fields, woodland and frontage on the Galien River, will also be available.

COL acquired the nature preserve on October 30, 2018. Local members of the community and other of Thompson’s friends, family and colleagues in the conservation community raised more than $226,000 to acquire the property in his memory. In addition, COL was awarded a grant from The Carls Foundation, and was able to utilize grant funds previously received from The Pokagon Fund to complete the project.

 “We are pleased to have the opportunity to honor Chris by dedicating this new preserve in his memory,” says COL Executive Director Ryan Postema.

Chikaming Open Lands is the local land conservancy dedicated to preserving the open spaces and natural rural character of southwest Berrien County. COL works to protect and restore native plant and animal habitat, improve water quality, and permanently preserve ecologically significant forests, prairies and wetlands, as well as prime farmland and other open spaces in this area. COL serves nine townships in southwest Berrien County, and has been instrumental in preserving more than 1,900 acres of open space since its founding in 1999.

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