In 2001, the Berrien County Parks Commission acquired 86 acres in New Buffalo Township to establish the Galien River County Park.
This undeveloped property included a mix of upland and wetland habitats along the Galien River. The wetland area is particularly significant in that it is a part of the larger "New Buffalo Marsh," a Great Lakes marsh that formed along the Galien River just upstream from the river's mouth at Lake Michigan.
Thanks to a generous grant from the Pokagon Fund in 2008 a Master Plan for future park improvements was developed.
Planned future developments include an Interpretive Center, a canopy walkway, observation platforms and boardwalk trails leading through the wetlands and to the river's edge. All facilities will be designed to provide universal (ADA) access.
In 2010 the Berrien County Parks Commission completed a Phase 1 development proposal that includes several key features of the Master Plan, including a spectacular Canopy Walkway with a Marsh Overlook Tower.
Generous grant funding was pledged by the Pokagon Fund and the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund to assist Berrien County with these improvements.
Phase 1 construction began during summer 2013. Construction of nearly 600' of raised boardwalk through the marsh to a fishing and viewing area platform at the edge of the Galien River is nearly complete.
Work is now underway on the Canopy Walkway that will lead from the top of the upland ridge to the Marsh Overlook Platform. Phase 1 construction will continue into early winter and resume in early spring with the park scheduled to officially open to the public in May of 2014!
Photos at right (top to bottom) include a view of the Galien River in the park; a scale model depiction of the canopy walkway; two views of the nearly completed marsh boardwalk and Galien River overlook; and the crane now in place for construction of the Canopy Walkway.
Check back for future photo updates of construction progress!