An anonymous family donated 155 acres of natural land in Newaygo County to be transformed into a public nature preserve along the shores of the Little South Branch of the Pere Marquette River. The Land Conservancy of West Michigan announced the news in a press release on Thursday, explaining in the coming months the nature preserve will open to public exploration of trails. The preserve will also have a parking lot and "wayfinding signage" on the trails. "We are so grateful to the family for choosing to donate their property so that we all may enjoy its resplendent beauty," Land Conservancy Executive Director Kim Karn said in the release. "They have created a profound legacy with their support for conservation." Along the shores of the Little South Branch of the Pere Marquette River, the property will be the Land Conservancy's second nature preserve in Newaygo County and its first on the shores of a tributary to the Pere Marquette River, according to the release. It has been named Upriver Nature Preserve. The land donation includes an 8-acre parcel with a house and garage that the Land Conservancy plans to protect with a conservation easement and sell to endow the ongoing maintenance of the Upriver Nature Preserve. The preserve features 5,321 feet of the Little South Branch of the Pere Marquette River. It will be the first Land Conservancy property to offer public access to Michigan's only undammed river, renowned for its water quality and trout-fishing opportunities, according to the release. The property also includes a rare sand prairie. With restoration efforts, the land could provide much-needed habitat for the endangered Karner blue butterfly and several native species of plants, insects and birds that rely on disappearing ecosystems like sand prairies, according to the release. "We are excited to add a new publicly accessible preserve to the suite of protected lands in the Big Forests & Wild Rivers focal region identified in our Strategic Conservation Plan," Conservation Director Justin Heslinga said in the release. "Under our management, the landscape will continue to support a diverse community of life, including bobcats and foxes." The Land Conservancy will open the preserve to the public later this year, with details to be released on the Land Conservancy\u2019s website. Volunteers who would like to help prepare the property for public enjoyment can get a sneak peek in July, according to the release. The Land Conservancy is hosting a trail-building workday on the new preserve on Saturday, July 9, from 9 a.m. to 12 p.m. Details for the event can be found at naturenearby.org\/events.