Partner Projects

Our Partners are working together to educate the public about environmental issues and encourage the residents of West Michigan to value healthy ecosystems.  Take a look at some of the great work they are engaged in.


Kentwood Park Stewards

In the fall of 2020, the City of Kentwood and its Department of Parks and Recreation discovered that invasive species were threatening the biodiversity in many of its parks. Determined to address these important concerns and feeling the need to foster more volunteer opportunities for the community, it was a perfect time to establish an…

Calvin Ecosystem Preserve & Native Gardens

The Calvin Ecosystem Preserve & Native Gardens’ mission is to conserve, restore and interpret native ecosystems to inspire people to value and protect the wonder of creation. Located on the campus of Calvin University in Grand Rapids, Calvin Ecosystem Preserve & Native Gardens has provided work and research experience for thousands of Calvin University students, educated tens of thousands…

Native Plant Guild

The Native Plant Guild (NPG) is an alliance of local businesses and organizations that offers West Michigan a variety of ecological landscaping services.  It began as an idea, a seed.  A Seed GerminatesNative plants begin small, but work together to improve water quality, provide habitat, and beauty. The Native Plant Guild began in a similar manner in 2017…

Kent Conservation District

Did you know that Michigan’s Conservation Districts are unique local units of state government that utilize state, federal and private sector resources to solve today’s conservation problems? Each Conservation District encourages landowners, citizens and governing communities to turn to it for natural resource conservation information and assistance. The seventy-five Conservation Districts in Michigan serve as…

Groundswell: Connecting Students and Stewardship in West Michigan

Imagine students whose classrooms are their communities, who do hands-on projects that demonstrate their important role in creating change right where they live. Picture teachers who can nurture those students because they have the resources and support they need to do this crucial work. Since 2009, Groundswell has brought this vision alive. We foster a…

Ottawa Sands County Park

There is an interesting story about how Ottawa Sands County Park became the newest addition to the Ottawa County Parks system.  The 345-acre property, tucked between North Ottawa Dunes County Park and City of Grand Haven Open Space, was formerly used for sand mining but has been inactive in recent years.  It is part of a…

Chief Hazy Cloud Park

Kent County Parks is currently working on a long-term project to nearly triple the size of Chief Hazy Cloud Park.  The expansion, which has been part of the Kent County Parks Master Plan for more than two decades should be completed over the next 18 months. Chief Hazy Cloud Park, in Ada Township, was established…

Save MI Hemlocks

Background  West Michigan Conservation Network partners are teaming up to launch efforts to control and eradicate Hemlock Woolly Adelgid. Funding for the work in West Michigan has been obtained by a grant distributed through the EPA’s Great Lakes Restoration. Grant funds will be used to conduct surveys, track infestations, provide outreach and education for public…

Grand River Greenway

Over the past two decades, the Ottawa County Parks Department has been working to make its Grand River Greenway Initiative come to life. To date, $20 million in mostly public funding has been invested to preserve over 2,400 of land and create 13 parks and open spaces along the Greenway. Over the next five years,…

Lake Sturgeon Restoration

Lake Sturgeon, also known as “nmé” in Pottawatomi, were once plentiful in Michigan. Stories are told of rivers so full of sturgeon that a person could walk across water on the backs of the fish without wetting their feet. Sadly, that is not the case today. Sturgeon are listed as a threatened species in Michigan…

The Highlands

The Land Conservancy of West Michigan and Blandford Nature Center are partnering to transform the 121-acre former Highlands Golf Club in northwest Grand Rapids into a natural area for community recreation and education. The property adjoins Blandford and the purchase will essentially double the size of Nature Center’s property. In early 2017, the Highlands Golf Club was put on the…

Michigan Dune Alliance

Lake Michigan’s dunes are part of the largest freshwater dune system in the world.  They are so large, in fact, that they are visible from space. The dunes provide critical habitat for migratory birds, federally endangered plants and rare insects.  As special as they are, only 70,000 of the 275,000 acres that line the shores…

Plaster Creek Stewards

Plaster Creek – 14 miles of neglected stream running through the Grand Rapids metropolitan area into the Grand River.  Best known for a long history of industrial pollution, it is the most contaminated creek in West Michigan. With 100 years of neglect, Plaster Creek won’t be healed in one year or even ten, but one…