Jens Jensen Preserve

The Jens Jensen Preserve is a 23-acre tract of woodland located off Parkway Drive west of Red Arrow Highway and south of Holloway Drive in Sawyer. The nature preserve contains a high quality hardwood forest featuring towering oak, maple, beech and tulip along with some seasonal wetlands. It is also part of an open space corridor stretching from Warren Dunes State Park to Cherry Beach Road, including Pepperidge Dunes, to which it is directly adjacent. These corridors provide uninterrupted canopy for migratory bird flyways, allowing natural habitat for the birds to rest and feed during their journeys up and down the lakeshore in the spring and fall.

Acquisition of the nature preserve was funded in part by members of the surrounding community, who came together to raise more than $130,000 in less than four months. The remainder of the purchase price was provided by Chikaming Open Lands, using funds previously raised for land acquisitions from a combination of individual donors and The Pokagon Fund. More than 160 neighbors and community members participated in the Save the Trails Campaign, which was kicked off in November 2014 to raise the funds needed to complete the purchase of the property and protect the open space in perpetuity.

The nature preserve is named for Jens Jensen, a landscape architect working in the Midwest at the turn of the century. Jensen revered and celebrated the area’s indigenous scenery by creating the Prairie style of landscape architecture and leading a movement to conserve natural areas.

The property features an extensive, well-maintained trail network suitable for hiking, bird watching or cross-country skiing. From Red Arrow Highway, go west on Parkway Drive, located just north of Sawyer Highlands Church. Parking is along the roadside. No bicycles or motorized vehicles. No hunting. Leashed dogs are welcome. Please stay on marked trails.

This preserve was acquired in part with funding from The Pokagon Fund.