A public informational meeting on the proposal for Pilgrim Haven Park will be held by Southwest Michigan Land Conservancy (SWMLC) and the South Haven Area Recreation Authority (SHARA). It is scheduled for 7:00 PM, March 26 at the South Haven Town Hall.
The vision for the park is described on the SWMLC web site as:
A low-intensity natural area which provides defined public access to the beach on Lake Michigan, promotes the protection and enhancement of significant natural features, allows for the development of infrastructure necessary to support regional recreational and open space activities, and is responsive to creating opportunities for limited revenue generation to support management and maintenance.
Pilgrim Haven Natural Area was acquired by Southwest Michigan Land Conservancy in December 2011 through a bequest from the estate of Suzanne Upjohn DeLano Parish. The 26-acre site includes a stretch of Dyckman Creek and over 750 linear feet of beach along Lake Michigan. The property was utilized as a camp for over 70 years, where it eventually was named Pilgrim Haven, before it was sold to Mrs. Parish in 1985. Mrs. Parish purchased the property to keep it from being intensively developed. As such, her gift was premised upon Pilgrim Haven remaining as open space to be shared with the greater South Haven community.