800 acres in southwest Michigan could become a state recreation area

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BERRIEN SPRINGS, Mich. (AP) — The state has its sights set on 800 acres in southwestern Michigan as a possible recreation area.

A graphic of the proposed area which could potentially be purchased from St. Andrews University with a grant. Courtesy: Google Maps.

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

Berrien County land is bordered by US 31 to the north and the St. Joseph River to the west, The Herald-Palladium reported. It is already popular with hunters.

“It’s beautiful terrain,” said MNR biologist Valerie Frawley. “I think it will be good for people in the area. It would be a large state gaming area and provide the public with greater access to the area.

Berrien and Buchanan township officials supported the effort.

“They said they were planning to put in a few walking trails, but had no major plans to change anything,” Berrien Township Supervisor Bryan Bixby said. “They told us it would be one of the largest natural wildlife preserves in the lower half of the state.”

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