Chocolay Bayou Nature Preserve officially protected as of July 8th, 2016

The Chocolay Bayou Preservers are thrilled to announce that the Upper Peninsula Land Conservancy is now the owner of approximately 13 acres of diverse riverfront habitat on the Chocolay Bayou, located between Marquette and Harvey near the mouth of the Chocolay River.  UPLC will protect, in perpetuity, this ecologically sensitive and historically important area for the benefit of the public.  Two small foot trails are planned, with connections to the Iron Ore Heritage Trail and a small parking lot on Hotel Place, and a carry-in canoe launch is planned for non-motorized paddlers to get on the water. The trails will include signage designed by local artists with information on the diverse ecosystem and significant history of the Bayou and will be maintained for passive public recreation as a quiet sanctuary to escape the bustle of the growing cities of Marquette and Harvey. The Chocolay Bayou Nature Preserve is already a popular birding and wildlife-watching area and will be an ideal spot to conduct environmental education, research, and restoration. The “Preservers” are a group of representatives from several local organizations and businesses and concerned local citizens who have been working over the last two years to raise more than $175,000 to purchase the property and maintain it for the future. This project has the support of more than 20 local and national organizations such as Ducks Unlimited and Chocolay Township, and is funded by the overwhelming generosity of nearly 200 individual donors and businesses as well as grants from North American Wetlands Conservation Act, Upper Peninsula Environmental Coalition, and the Hirvonen Foundation.

A celebration and dedication is planned for Saturday, September 10th, and a public forum will be held later this fall for public input on trail access for the Preserve. For more information on the Chocolay Bayou Nature Preserve, the Upper Peninsula Land Conservancy, or on joining the Chocolay Bayou Preservers in their mission to protect and care for the Chocolay Bayou Nature Preserve into the future, please call or email the UPLC at (906) 225-8067 or

For those of you who have been following this story since the beginning, we ended up doing things just a little differently than we originally planned, and you can click here to read those details. The changes are legal-description-oriented and will enhance the conservation value of the land and ensure that UPLC is able to fully protect the property as promised.


The UPLC has been working since 1999 to conserve and protect the land of Michigan's Upper Peninsula to ensure sustainable management for generations to come.  With your help, we now protect nearly 6,000 acres in the Upper Peninsula, with 10 dedicated Preserves, 23 experimental working forest reserves, and 19 conservation easements with partnering organizations and private land owners. Our latest newsletter can be found in the "news and publications" tab.


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