Protected, owned and managed by the Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy
“Mn-aa’-den-dan Shkaak-Amee-kwe” (pronunciation)
Mnaadendan (respect) Shkaakimiikwe (Mother Earth)
(translation – respect for Mother Earth and everything in creation)
Protected in 2023 with the help of generous local supporters, the Mnaandendan Shkaakimiikwe Nature Sanctuary preserves rare, unspoiled habitat in a rapidly developing area in East Bay Township. In addition, the 26-acre parcel safeguards water quality and builds on critical land protection efforts in the Grand Traverse Bay watershed.
The sanctuary lies in the Acme Creek watershed, a sub-watershed of Grand Traverse Bay. The property contains nearly 1,400 feet of frontage on an unnamed creek, which flows directly into East Bay. It also encompasses high-quality wetlands and forests that play the crucial role of filtering runoff before it can reach the region’s waterways.
Most of the property comprises high-quality rich conifer swamp habitat, with approximately three acres of mesic northern forest perched atop a steep slope in the southeast corner. These habitats are listed as vulnerable by the State of Michigan and are critical to the survival of many sensitive flora and fauna species. The parcel may have originally been part of the globally rare, wooded dune and swale complex habitat found on adjacent properties. However, nearby development likely disturbed the land, which has transitioned to its current state. Today, the property provides many ecosystem services and hosts a variety of native plants and animals like the northern white cedar (Thuja occidentalis) and tamarack (Larix laricina).