Lakeville Swamp Gets New Boardwalk

Boardwalk project REI grant 8 2009 (12)

Lakeville Swamp Nature Sanctuary is one of the few truly unique swamps left in Michigan. It provides a haven for over 400 native plant species in northeastern Oakland County. Poison sumac, rattlesnakes, and unstable muck make the area difficult to venture into, but the trek is well worth the effort.

Entering the Lakeville Swamp to explore its unique wilderness has become less challenging now thanks to the new boardwalk that got built in this sanctuary. The new structure in the sanctuary will be helpful in allowing more people to enjoy the unique area without disturbing the wildlife underneath. With a generous grant of $5,000 from Recreational Equipment, Inc (REI) and the help of our volunteers, we were able to carry out the project earlier this fall and construct 500 feet of brand new boardwalk within the Lakeville Swamp.

Mac Deuparo and Don Clay led fellow volunteers Rod Johnson, Dave Lancaster, Dustin Elder, Caryl Lindsay, and Al Breish in building the boardwalk with lumber purchased from Orion Lumber, who graciously helped with the cutting and delivered materials for free. While Todd Elder provided space for the crew to cut materials, his son helped us on the project for three whole days. Randy Eller donated 10 cubic yards of woodchips to help in completing the project.


Thank you to everyone who helped and be sure to check out the new boardwalk in Lakeville Swamp Nature Sanctuary!

For more information visit Michigan Nature Association’s website or email us at

Photographs by Sherri Laier

Text by Jocylen Fox