Next Phase of South Haven’s Pilgrim Haven Natural Area Construction Nearing

Summer always ushers in lots of memories of good times in the great outdoors across Michigan’s Great Southwest, and this summer will also usher in new improvements that will lead to many a grand memory well into the future for those who visit the Pilgrim Haven Natural Area near South Haven.

July 1st will mark the beginning of construction for the next phase of improvements to the Pilgrim Haven Natural Area, located off of 77th Street in South Haven Charter Township. Pilgrim Haven is a pristine area which encompasses 27 acres of woods, dune grass prairies and 800-feet of shoreline along Lake Michigan.  The property is bisected by a scenic creek and is home to a wide range of plant life.

The property was acquired by the Southwest Michigan Land Conservancy and is managed and maintained by the South Haven Area Recreation Authority made up of representatives from South Haven Public Schools, the City of South Haven and South Haven Charter Township. That partnership ensures that all parties including preservationists, environmentalists, and recreational users have a seat at the table when deciding the uses and activities within the preserve.

Improvements that will be made in the summer of 2019 include:

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  • Paving of the existing gravel parking lot
  • Installation of two new pit toilets
  • New walkways and benches
  • Creation of a rain garden
  • A kayak rack to serve individuals taking advantage of the Lake Michigan Water Trail that runs adjacent to Pilgrim Haven.

The work is scheduled to be completed during the first week of August.

Ross Stein is Chair of the South Haven Area Recreation Authority and also Supervisor to South Haven Charter Township. He says, “On behalf of South Haven Charter Township and the South Haven Area Recreation Authority, I’m pleased to see the second phase of improvements occurring at the Pilgrim Haven Natural Area.” He adds, “This site is a gem and offers residents and visitors a wonderful opportunity to enjoy Lake Michigan in different ways. I am truly looking forward to seeing the project completed in the coming weeks.”

Previous improvements to the Pilgrim Haven Natural Area have included the creation of a fully accessible walkway to the shore of Lake Michigan, the development of a parking lot, informational signage and fencing and access constructed on the property.