- Associated Press - Thursday, July 14, 2016

GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (AP) - Officials from the Land Conservancy of West Michigan say White River Township has closed two acres of Lake Michigan sand dunes after raising $970,000 to purchase the land.

The announcement Wednesday comes after a year of fundraising and a decades-long fight to protect the area from development, including a drive that would’ve run through the middle of the dunes, MLive.com (https://bit.ly/29VZO06 ) reported.

The Land Conservancy and White River Township began a campaign in July 2015 to raise the funds to purchase the property from its current owner, Bro G Land Company, and expand the White River Township Barrier Dunes Sanctuary.

A year ago, the company signed an agreement to buy the property for $900,000 by June 30. The total was pushed to $970,000 by costs for appraisals, fundraising and surveys.

More than 300 individual donors contributed to the campaign, which also received grants from the Alcoa Foundation, The Carls Foundation, the James Hanna and Mary H. Murphy Land Fund, the White Lake Community Fund of the Community Foundation for Muskegon County, Consumers Energy Foundation, the Frey Foundation, the Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund and the J.A. Woollam Foundation. The Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund also recommended a $300,000 grant to complete the project.

The property will be added to the sanctuary, which is just north of White Lake. A dedication will be held Aug. 15 to celebrate the protection of the property.

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Information from: The Grand Rapids Press:MLive.com, https://www.mlive.com

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