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Natural Awakenings Healthy Living Magazine

From Golf Links to Environmental Link

The Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy is reclaiming the former 1982 Mitchell Creek Golf Course, in East Bay Township, as a nature preserve, home to ducks, snakes, bears and eagles. At least 50 golf courses have closed in the state since 2000, becoming housing developments and farmland.

            In northern Michigan, the Mitchell Creek Course and Little Traverse Golf Club, in Harbor Springs (Offield Family Viewlands Working Forest Reserve), were both purchased by land conservancies on their way to becoming nature preserves.

            The course closed a decade ago, and Jennifer Jay, director of communications and engagement for the Conservancy, says, “A family of wood ducks have made a home in what used to be a water hazard and a bald eagle’s nest, 50 feet up in a white pine, is a sand wedge away from a former fairway.”

            The majority of new trees, which are being planted between 2,000 and 4,000 at a time, will produce fruits and nuts for wildlife to nibble. “Nature’s ability to restore itself is really great,” says Jay. “We’re going to help, and that feels awesome.”

Location: 995 Hideaway Valley Dr., Harbor Springs. For more information, call 231-347-0991 or visit