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Glossary of Terms


A mound of earth, usually man-made, separating two areas from each other.

Chikaming Open Lands

A land conservancy based in Sawyer, Michigan focused on the preservation of open space and the natural, rural character of southwest Berrien County.

Chikaming Open Lands Endowment Fund

A fund built through the investment of financial contributions given with the stipulation that only the income earned on the assets can be spent, leaving the principal intact.

Chikaming Open Lands Service Area

Nine townships within Berrien County, including Chikaming, Three Oaks, New Buffalo, Bertrand, Galien, Baroda, Buchanan, Lake and Weesaw Townships.


An organization dedicated to the protection of the environment and its resources.

Conservation Easement

A voluntary legal agreement between a land conservancy, like Chikaming Open Lands, and a private landowner that permanently preserves the natural features or agricultural soils of the land.


A system formed by the interaction of a community of organisms within their environment.


A lowland covered or partially covered with water; also known as a marsh.

Land Steward

Any person dedicated to the conservation, maintenance and restoration of the land.

Native Grasses

The various regional and national grasses that are original to a particular area.

Nature Preserve

A tract of land that is set aside and protected to preserve native plant and animal habitat.

Prescribed Burn

A highly controlled burning of vegetation in a natural area which controls invasive, non-native plant species and encourages native regrowth.


The conservation, maintenance and restoration of land.

Unrestricted Gift

Donations to an organization that are applied to the areas of greatest need as determined by that organization.

Wet Prairie

A kind of marsh identified by its lack of trees, ground cover of grasses and herbs, and flat terrain. A wet prairie is a shallow basin that will see periods of flooding and drying out during a typical year.

Wet Woods

Woodland existing on soils that are often or seasonally wet. Often found along streams and rivers or on the margins of marshes.


Lands with a wet, spongy soil, like a marsh.


A tract of land covered with woods or trees.