800 acres in SW Michigan could become state recreation area

Associated Press

Berrien Springs — The state has its eyes on 800 acres in southwestern Michigan as a possible recreation area.

The Department of Natural Resources is seeking a $4.7 million grant from the Natural Resources Trust Fund to buy the land from Andrews University, an official said. The property was donated to the school.

The land in Berrien County is bordered by U.S. 31 to the north and the St. Joseph River on the west, The Herald-Palladium reported. It's already popular with hunters.

“It’s a gorgeous piece of land," DNR biologist Valerie Frawley said. "I think it will be good for the people of the area. It would be a great state game area and provide the public with more access to the area.”

Officials in Berrien and Buchanan townships have endorsed the effort.

“They said they plan to put in a few walking paths, but don’t have any major plans to change anything,” Berrien Township Supervisor Bryan Bixby said. “They told us that it would be one of the largest natural wildlife areas in the lower half of the state."