HeadWaters Land Conservancy Installs Boardwalk at Hess Nature Preserve

On June 24, 2023, HeadWaters Land Conservancy installed 175 feet of boardwalk at their Hess Nature Preserve. “It’s nice to see the completion of the Hess Nature Preserve boardwalk.  People will now be able to conveniently access the beautiful beach while protecting the wetlands” shared Jerry Smith, HeadWaters’ volunteer. This Lake Huron coastal preserve is located off Evergreen Highway in Presque Isle County. Donated to HeadWaters in 2017 by Dr. George Hess, visitors to this 12-acre preserve will be able to view several habitats including a coastal fen and the dune and swale system unique to northern Michigan coasts.

The boardwalk adds much needed accessibility which allows visitors to traverse out to the shore without impacting the fragile ecosystems located on the preserve. Volunteer, Cheryl McCormick shared, “It was a rewarding experience to volunteer with Headwaters Land Conservancy on the installation of the boardwalk at Hess Nature Preserve. First of all, I became more acquainted with this hard-working and dedicated staff and some of the board members. They worked very well together, all pitching in, laughing in spurts, and examining a surprising number of wildflower species right along the new installation. I also met a neighbor of the Hess Nature Preserve who came to volunteer which is a reinforcement of the support which Headwaters has locally. The Hess Nature Preserve is a special parcel of land, not only because of the frontage on Lake Huron, but because it will steward the diverse habitats found near-shore. The new boardwalk welcomes the public on a safe walk through the cedar swamp and wet swales to the shore of Lake Huron…. a quiet and bountiful experience.”

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