Ann Arbor announces the opening of a new Secret Nature Preserve

UPPER TOWNSHIP, Mich. – A new nature reserve has been opened to the public.

The City of Ann Arbor, the Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation Commission and the Southeast Michigan Land Conservancy announced Friday the opening of the Secrest Nature Preserve.

Covering 80 acres, the reserve is located in Superior Township. It is part of the Superior Greenway – a wildlife and recreation corridor of more than 2,700 acres – and is owned by the Southeast Michigan Land Conservancy. Washtenaw County holds the conservation easement for the property.

The county and the Ann Arbor Greenbelt Program provided “significant” support for the acquisition, according to a news release.

Due to planning complications caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, SMLC’s work on a new public hiking trail has been delayed. Construction of an on-site public car park is expected to be completed in 2022.

“This property was important to protect from a public access perspective due to its location at the corner of Ford and Berry Roads near Prospect Road and M-14,” said SMLC Executive Director Jill Lewis. , in a press release. “This makes it easily accessible for the area as well as the communities of Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti. The SMLC is delighted to open this reserve to the public, especially given the importance of access to natural areas, as demonstrated last year.

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The reserve was named after the Secrest family, “who have been instrumental in supporting land protection efforts in Superior Township and throughout the region for many years,” a statement read. Press.

Secrest Nature Preserve features a new loop trail that connects Weatherbee Woods, scenic farmland views, and ancient oak woods. As of 2019, over 40 notable bird species have been documented in the area by Washtenaw Audubon.

SMLC hopes to restore wildlife habitat like grasslands in the future to increase bird migration in the area.

To get to the Secrest nature reserve, Click here. To find your trail map, Click here.

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To learn more about the Ann Arbor Greenbelt Program, Click here.

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