Our Protected Land

Grosse Ile Nature and Land Conservancy protects over 156 acres of land either by direct ownership or administering conservation easements. We are the only private organization in the Township of Grosse Ile that can legally protect property either by direct ownership of land or by holding conservation easements on it. In turn, we are legally obligated to manage our properties with best land management practices that are balanced by public benefit.

Hennepin Marsh Gateway – 1.5 acre wooded wetland habitat on Meridian between Annette and Paulina.  Property features a short hiking trail with a boardwalk over wetland with a trail continuing to a wildlife observation platform overlooking the Hennepin Marsh.  Ecology-related interpretive signs are present at the site.

Hennepin Marsh – 120 acres, Shallow Wetland Bordering Detroit River. It is often submerged. Can be viewed from Hennepin Marsh Gateway or by small water craft like kayaks.  Bridge & West River Road.

Grosse Ile Woods Preserves – 51 lots comprising a total of 9.6 acres of excellent wildlife habitat purchased from or donated by seven families and acquired through the Michigan Land Bank.  Properties are located near Horsemill and Thorofare.

Thorofare Canal (Kobiljak) Preserve -- 0.73-acre upland property on Thorofare and Highland that adjoins the Thorofare Canal.  GINLC continues to develop a more diverse habitat on the property with the planting of many native trees, shrubs, and pollinator plants.

Finazzo Easement – privately owned 0.85-acre site. Parke Lane and Horsemill is under a conservation easement. Wooded wetland habitat.

Crysler Easement – 1-acre parcel, under conservation easement with GINLC, containing wooded wetland habitat.  Parke Lane & Horsemill. Mature Tree Specimens

Ryder Preserve – 0.24-acre site near Blauvelt and Lafayette with notable oak tree specimens.

Caldwell Preserve – 0.48 acre lot adjoining the Thorofare Canal.  Gregory & Marlborough. Mixed vegetation habitat.  

Morse Preserve – two lots (0.39 acre) adjoining the Thorofare Canal. Gregory & Marlborough. Contains notable Chinquapin Oak specimens.  Small pond on property.  

D’Avanzo Preserve – four lots totaling 0.62-acres of mixed habitat bordering the waterway near Halley Crescent & Hickory Circle.

Gray's Drive Easement – 2.9 acres Grays Drive and Cadillac circle. Property is owned by GI Township but GINLC holds a conservation easement which limits it's future development in perpetuity. Wooded wetland habitat.

Ondo & Hawthorne Preserves – four lots comprising 0.683 acres.  One lot adjoins Thorofare Canal.  In the area of Gregory & Chicory and Marlborough & Chicory. Lots contain second growth wooded and mixed vegetation habitat. 

Wittbold Preserve – 0.73 acres adjoining the Thorofare Canal.  Gregory & Marlborough. Mixed vegetation wetland habitat.

Wright Preserve – 0.45 acres adjoining the Thorofare Canal.  Gregory & Marlborough. Mixed vegetation wetland habitat.  Large Black Walnut and Shagbark Hickory specimens.  

MLBFTA Preserve – 0.3 acre lot adjoining the Thorofare Canal.  Mixed vegetation wetland habitat.  Gregory & Marlborough adjacent to Wittbold Preserve.

Taylor Preserve – 0.53 acres.  Contains rare sedge marsh.  Halley Crescent & Hickory Circle adjacent to D’Avanzo Preserve.

Lalosh Preserve – 0.5 acre lot adjoining the Thorofare Canal. Gregory & Chicory. Dense mixed vegetation wetland habitat.

Cleaver Preserve – 0.25-acre lot of upland habitat bordering marshland near Blauvelt & Lafayette.

Parkway Preserve – 0.17-acre mature wooded parcel near Blauvelt & Lafayette.  Nice White Oak and Black Walnut specimens on property.

Daly Preserve – two lots comprising 0.48 acres of wooded wetland habitat near Coleman and Brook Circle.

Finazzo Preserve –1.4 acre wooded upland habitat at Meridian and Rucker.   Adjacent to Open Space property. 

Emily's Way Preserve - 0.42 acre wooded wetland habitat with seasonally wet swale.  Borders Open Space property near Rucker and E. River Road.  Numerous bird species are often present on the property.

Davidson Easement.  - 11.25 acres Sheeks and Huron River Drive - Flat Rock. Mixed Habitat Bordering the Huron River. This is the only GINLC administered property that is not on Grosse Ile.


Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge - Gibraltar Bay Unit (GBU):  28820 East River Rd, Grosse Ile

Because this is now federally owned, this is not an official GINLC preserve. However, GINLC has a long history of preservation efforts on this property, and the adjacent Airport Natural Area. This 40.5-acre marsh and upland area was previously a Navy seaplane base (1927) and also a NIKE missile base (1954 to 1963). In 1972 the Defense Department turned this site over to the Environmental Protection Agency ("EPA") for use as a wetlands research area. In April of 1990, at the center of the property, six acres of meadowland were still completely covered with pavement and huge steel doors were lying on the ground. Underground there were three large vaults each containing a NIKE missile. In 1990, the doors were removed, the cement was hauled away, and Nature, with a little help from man, could once again flourish. In 1993, the EPA granted stewardship of the area to the Grosse Ile Nature and Land Conservancy. In 2009 the Nature Area was made part of the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge. GINLC partners with USFWS to offer nature programs to the public at this site.  GBU includes a pond and a variety of habitats including the Gibraltar Bay. 


The Airport Natural Area (ANA)is adjacent to the GBU, is accessed via the GBU entrance at 28820 East River Rd, Grosse Ile, and is owned by Grosse Ile Township.  ANA is only open to the public when volunteers from GINLC are present.  GINLC provides hosts and opens the ANA every Sunday afternoon from May to October. so the public can enjoy a stroll through the Airport Natural Area (ANA).  There is a great view of Gibraltar Bay from the area by the old seaplane base. The airport lagoon can only be viewed from ANA. The best view of the lotus flowers, which bloom in August. 

Grosse Ile Township Natural Areas 19-06-