Natural Places

Relatively natural forest, wetlands, grasslands, and other natural places abound in the Kalamazoo River watershed because of its overall rural nature, the abundance of isolated wetlands that could not be drained for agriculture, and the widespread abandonment of agricultural activity on more marginal lands that were too sloped, erosion prone, or sandy.  In addition, the broad floodplains of the Kalamazoo River valley have returned to a more natural state in many areas.

We are fortunate to have a wide array of protected natural areas in and near the Kalamazoo River watershed.  In total, we have more than 70,000 acres of land in the watershed that have been set aside for recreation and wildlife habitat.  The natural areas in our region, together with land that is still in agriculture, provide important ecosystem services and habitat that are often under-appreciated, including recreational opportunities, maintenance of groundwater, clean water, wildlife habitat, and biodiversity.

Kalamazoo River Watershed Council - Photo: Mark Cassino

Photo: Mark Cassino


Learn more about the natural places found within the Kalamazoo River Watershed:

Get involved with the KWRC by attending one of our many events!