Ann Arbor announces opening of new Secrest Nature Preserve

80-acre preserve located in Superior Township

Oak tree. (Pixabay)

SUPERIOR TOWNSHIP, Mich. – A new nature preserve has opened to the public.

The city of Ann Arbor, Washtenaw County Parks and Recreation Commission and the Southeast Michigan Land Conservancy announced the opening of the Secrest Nature Preserve on Friday.

Spanning 80 acres, the preserve is located in Superior Township. It is part of the Superior Greenway -- a more than 2,700-acre wildlife and recreation corridor -- and is owned by the Southeast Michigan Land Conservancy. Washtenaw County holds the property’s conservation easement.

The county and Ann Arbor’s Greenbelt Program provided “significant” support for the acquisition, according to a news release.

Due to planning complications caused by the COVID-19 pandemic, SMLC’s work on a new public hiking trail was delayed. Construction of on-site public parking is expected to be complete in 2022.

“This property was important to protect from a public access standpoint because of its location on the corner of Ford and Berry roads near Prospect Road and M-14,” SMLC’s executive director Jill Lewis said in a statement. “This makes it easily accessible for the local area as well as the Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti communities. SMLC is excited to open this preserve to the public especially given the importance of access to natural areas as demonstrated last year.”

The preserve was named after the Secrest family, “who have been instrumental in supporting land protection efforts in Superior Township and across the region for many years,” reads a news release.

Secrest Nature Preserve features a new loop trail that connects to Weatherbee Woods, scenic farmland vistas and old-growth oak woods. In 2019, more than 40 noteworthy bird species were documented in the area by Washtenaw Audubon.

SMLC hopes to restore wildlife habitat like grasslands in the future to increase bird migration in the area.

For directions to Secrest Nature Preserve, click here. To find its trail map, click here.

To learn more about Ann Arbor’s Greenbelt Program, click here.

About the Author:

Meredith has worked for WDIV since August 2017 and was voted one of Washtenaw County's best journalists in 2019 by eCurrent's readers. She covers the community of Ann Arbor and has a Master's degree in International Broadcast Journalism from City University London, UK.