Dear Members and Friends of Chikaming Open Lands:
As you may know, Chikaming Township is currently pursuing an opportunity to purchase the 3-acre property adjacent to Cherry Beach. The Township, the Cherry Beach Committee and several partners have undertaken a fundraising campaign to raise approximately $1.6 million in matching funds for a grant from the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund (MNRTF).
The acquisition of this property will significantly expand the public beach area, as well as preserve an area of forested dune and a stream corridor within it. This is important as the forested dunes along Lake Michigan provide important habitat for migratory songbirds and a variety of other species. The small creek that runs through the property connects it to the wetlands in COL’s nature preserves on Harbert Road, thus protecting this parcel maintains a corridor of natural areas to aid movement of wildlife.
Chikaming Open Lands is an organization dedicated to the preservation of natural areas and open space in Berrien County. As such, we wholly support the goal of the Cherry Beach Committee and Chikaming Township to expand the Cherry Beach property. In anticipation of the successful acquisition, we have signed a 20-year agreement with the Township to provide advice, guidance, and support for stewardship of the natural areas of Cherry Beach. This agreement not only strengthens the Township’s application for the necessary MNRTF grant; it also reflects our continued commitment to partner with municipalities and other organizations across Berrien County to promote land conservation and stewardship.
The Cherry Beach Project is a rare opportunity to preserve valuable, undeveloped open space along our lakefront. We believe it takes a commitment from all of us and the leadership of many for land conservation efforts to be successful. We encourage you, as a supporter of the work of Chikaming Open Lands, to also support the Township’s conservation efforts by making a pledge to the Cherry Beach Project.
For more information or to make a pledge, visit www.cherrybeachproject.com.
Ryan J. Postema
Chikaming Open Lands