This spectacular 56-acre parcel safeguards critical wildlife habitat, builds on previously protected land and is extremely important from a water quality standpoint.
It features 1,400 feet of frontage on Finch Creek and 1,100 feet of frontage on Crow Creek, along with significant amounts of riparian wetlands and multiple groundwater springs that serve as headwaters of Crow Creek. It also contains high quality mesic northern forest and rich conifer swamp, habitats that are of critical importance to a wide variety of flora and fauna species. Both of these habitat types are listed as vulnerable by the state of Michigan.
Protection of these two forest types and unique headwater features benefit beloved interior forest bird species found on the property, including Scarlet Tanager, Ovenbird and Red-eyed Vireo, as well as dozens of other bird species that use this wildlife corridor as a passageway to adjacent or nearby natural lands within this ecological hotspot of Antrim County. More than 15 species of ferns, mature cedars and many other plants and animals also are present.
Acquisition of the Finch Creek Nature Sanctuary builds on protection achieved by the Crow Creek Conservation Easement, which sits on its eastern border. That 130-acre easement property features 2,500 feet of undeveloped frontage on Crow Creek.
Protection of this sanctuary will also help safeguard water quality within the beloved Grass River Natural Area, a 1,492-acre natural area that sits just over a mile downstream from this parcel. Finch Creek flows from this property down to the GRNA, so protection of its upper reaches helps protect GRNA and the larger Chain of Lakes watershed.