Department of Natural Resources
Recognition: The Nature Conservancy Natural Areas Registry
Size: 60 acres
Location: About 8 miles south of Kalamazoo
Management: Gourdneck State Game Area
Activities: Hiking, hunting, photography, nature study, wildflower viewing
Importance: A wetland complex in the floodplain of Hampton Creek, which flows southwesterly into Hampton Lake. The presence of several major natural communities, including southern sedge meadow, fen, mesic-wet prairie and wet northern forest, and the presence of several sub-types within each of these communities, as well as nine plant species that are threatened in the state, label the wetland as very unusual. Its size and natural diversity recommended it as a natural area. The surrounding uplands, though disturbed, support vegetation of sand prairies and open oak woods, which are communities once found throughout southern Michigan.