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E-M:/ Van Buren County considers sale of 17 acre-park on Lake Michigan

Enviro-Mich message from Marcy Colclough <marcydolphin@yahoo.com>

Keep North Point Conservation Area Open to the Public 

The fight to keep North Point Conservation Area open
to the public and out of private hands is gaining
momentum in Van Buren County.   A group of citizens
recently met in South Haven to discuss ways to get the
word out about the proposed sale of North Point
Conservation Area.   The group feels that most people
in the County are not aware that in July the Van Buren
County Commissioners have agreed in spirit to a adopt
a long-range plan that includes the sale of North
Point.  If people do not immediately contact the
VanBuren County Commissioners, this beautiful park may
be lost forever!  Addresses and phone numbers of
County Commissioners can be found at

North Point Conservation Area is 17 acres with 400
feet of Lake Michigan frontage located just north of
the Van Buren State Park and south of South Haven. 
The park contains forested critical dunes and is used
by locals and tourists.  The property has been
maintained and used by the Boy Scouts for years and
many refer to the property as the ?Old Boy Scout

The citizens group is concerned that the Van Buren
County Board of Commissioners may act quickly and make
a final decision to sell North Point for development
at its August 14 or August 28 meeting.  The citizens
group feels the only way to save this land from
development and to keep it open to the public is to
convince people to contact the County Commissioners
before their next meeting or to attend the County
Commission meeting on either August 14 or August 28 at
4:30pm in Paw Paw.  The Board meeting location is Van
Buren County Land and Admin Building, 219 Paw Paw St.,
Suite 201, Paw Paw, MI 49079.

The citizens group plans to contact the media and
national, state and local organizations and agencies
to help raise awareness about the potential fate of
this county-owned property.  The group will also be
encouraging businesses and county residents to contact
their County Commissioners to show support for keeping
the property open to the public.  

Lastly, the group will be asking people to sign a
petition that states, ?By signing this petition, I am
expressing my opposition to the Van Buren County Board
of   Commissioners selling the North Point
Conservation Area (17 aces on Lake Michigan) in South
Haven Township, Michigan to finance law enforcement
and/or a new jail/courthouse.  The land should remain
open to the public for current and future

By collecting signatures, the citizens group hopes to
send a clear message to the County Board of
Commissioners.  The County will always be in need of
money for buildings, maintenance and other
infrastructure.  The group feels it is extremely
shortsighted to sell 17 acres of beautiful Lake
Michigan beach, dunes, forest and wetlands to finance
the new construction.    

Van Buren County is home to acres of globally rare,
undeveloped Lake Michigan beach and dunes.  As Carl
Sandburg said, ?those dunes are to the Midwest what
the Grand Canyon is to Arizona?once lost, the loss
would be irrevocable.?  The dune areas of Michigan are
?a unique, irreplaceable, and fragile resource that
provide significant recreational, economic,
scientific, geological, scenic, botanical,
educational, agricultural and ecological benefits to
the people of Michigan and to people from other states
and countries who visit this resource.? [Taken from
findings Michigan State Legislature in the Sand Dune
Protection Act.]  

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