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Nonprofit acquires massive recreation area for public

Preserved for future generations to enjoy forever.
Updated: May. 14, 2021 at 8:03 PM EDT
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KEWEENAW COUNTY, Mich. (WLUC) - The Gratiot River’s rushing rapids connecting Conglomerate Falls to Gratiot River County Park are now spared from any potential development.

Thanks to the nonprofit Keweenaw Natural Areas (KNA) conservation group, which has secured its missing link of land.

“Thank you to everyone who donated, and it’s beautiful,” said John Griffith, president of the KNA. “It’s a total of 546-acre parcel with almost 8,000 feet of the river.”

With all the other pieces combined, this creates the Gratiot River Recreation area. It includes 2.6 miles of lakeshore, 3.4 miles of river and more than 1,600 acres of untouched upper Michigan wilderness.

“We save it from development, so instead of having a house on the lakeshore every 250 feet,” said Griffith. “We can have a quality of life where we can go down to the lake, look for agates, do something. Same for the interior.”

One of the best parts of this land acquisition in the Keweenaw is that it will be preserved and free for the public to use forever.

“You come out here, if you like to fish you can fish,” said Griffith. “We hope that you will do a lot of catch and release, if you like to bird watch you can do that.”

Griffith attributes the successful land deal to the way his group works - for the people.

“We’re an all-volunteer group, when you give a dollar it goes to land acquisition. Not somebody’s salary,” concluded Griffith.

If you want to support the 501C3 nonprofit group, Griffith encourages people that even 10$ a month can go a long way.

Money donated is used to secure more and more land, growing the reserves of untouched and undeveloped nature.

At the end of the day, it helps protect habitats and species. It keeps the areas open for public recreation too.

Also, the Keweenaw relies on tourism, which in turn these land areas help drive that.

To lend your support, you can check out the KNA website, email keweenawnaturalareas@gmail.com, or give a call to (906) 370-9022 for more information on how to support the KNA.

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