Chocolay Bayou Preserve Project

It’s been a whole year since you helped us make this dream a reality!

Together, we raised $1,001 for the forever-care-and-keeping of the Chocolay Bayou Nature Preserve! WOW!!!

In the past year, you’ve helped us build a 350-foot long boardwalk, create three distinct trails, remove a literal TON of trash, restore native plants, remove non-native plants, AND control erosion!

We celebrated at the Chocolay Bayou Nature Preserve and the Chocolay Township Marina on September 23rd for a full day of events celebrating the community resource we’ve all come to love. Live music, birding, paddle races, silent auction, games, prizes, food, a plein-aire paint out, birch bark canoe demonstration…we had such a great day!

Many, MANY thanks to:

Shannon Jones

For guiding our birding hike!

Dr. Scott Emerson and Elise Desjarlais and the Marquette County Conservation District

For leading educational hikes

Painters on the Loose

For bringing some color to the event, and for your amazing donations to the silent auction!

Northern Michigan University’s Rec Sports Center

For the use of your boats

True North Adventures’ guides Ryan and Adam

For keeping our paddlers safe

The Jungwirth Family

For the awesome birchbark canoe demo!

Copper Crust Pizza Co.

For amazing pizza

Sweet Basil Deli

For feeding us and keeping us hydrated on the hot day

Allison and Jerry Brown Band

For sharing your music!

The Prusi Brothers Band

For rocking out with us into the night

Stenberg Rentals

For the generous discount on rentals

And all of our WONDERFUL VOLUNTEERS and silent auction donors!!!

We are SO looking forward to celebrating the second birthday with you next year!

Imagine a serene bayou,

a wetland that acts as a stopover for migrating birds, directly between two bustling, expanding communities.

Chocolay Bayou colors birds-1

Now imagine that this estuarian paradise, which houses mink, muskrat, black bear, deer, rare herons, eagles, and hosts a startlingly diverse range of plant life, is also accessible by two of the most popular trails in the Upper Peninsula AND is accessible by water via Lake Superior as well as the popular Chocolay River.




Next, imagine that this bayou is within walking distance of a local brewery which shares its name.







Let’s also say that this 15-acre area carries deep historical significance to the area, having once had a sawmill and furnace on the water as well as signifying an old treaty line between the locals and the loggers and miners who came to the area recently.






Welcome to the Chocolay Bayou Preserve Project-A Dream come true!


The Upper Peninsula Land Conservancy is working with over twenty partnering organizations to maintain this property.  A short foot trail has been marked and we are in the planning stages of building a boardwalk through the wetland that will be accompanied by locally-designed interpretive signs.

We’ve successfully purchased the property, and we still need to continue to raise the approximately $20,000 we’ll need to build trails, boardwalks, put up signs, a bird observation deck, ensure public access…

Click here to download a trail map and brochure about the project!

We are finalizing our 5-year management plan now. If you’d like to view a draft and give us feedback, click here!

If you are interested in learning more, helping out in any way, or in donating to this project, please contact us at (906) 225-8069 or email

It’s going to take the effort of the whole community to take care of this dream-come-true.

Sponsorship Levels

Keep checking back to this page, and follow us on Facebook and Twitter for frequent updates!


Your donation is fully tax-deductible and we will send you a receipt to use for tax purposes.