Baraga County celebrates Covington Twp. land preserve

Garrett Neese/Daily Mining Gazette Baraga County board members Craig Kent, Gale Eilola, William Menge and Brad Dakota hold a ribbon-cutting to celebrate the county’s purchase of 1,184 acres of land near Covington in collaboration with the Superior Watershed Partnership.

COVINGTON TOWNSHIP — Baraga County board members held a ribbon-cutting Wednesday to celebrate preserving more than 1,000 acres of land near Covington for public use.

The county worked with the Superior Watershed Partnership to purchase the 1,184-acre parcel with the assistance of a $2.7 million Michigan Natural Resources Trust Fund grant. The property includes more than 4 miles of frontage on the Sturgeon River.

Superior Watershed had approached the county about partnering on the grant in 2021, which allowed them to purchase the property from Wild Rivers, said Baraga County Clerk Wendy Goodreau.

“I think that it’s a really great opportunity to give the public access to the river and to hunting or whatever is available here,” Goodreau said. “The North Country Trail is not far from here, so that made sense as well, to give some more access to folks.”

County plans include rustic campground sites, areas for picnicking, a parking lot, trails, and possibly a well for campers.

The SWP and the Great Lakes Climate Corps (GLCC) will also work with Baraga County and local partners on planning several miles of hiking trails, kayak launches and environmental education kiosks, according to an SWP release.

“I think we see it as a multi-use property for the public to enjoy,” Goodreau said. “The river’s beautiful.”

The plans will take time to become reality, Goodreau said. The county still needs to apply for a grant for planning. The county’s recreation committee will then work with Western Upper Peninsula Planning & Development Region on a development plan for the site.

“Once that’s underway, there will be plenty of opportunities for public input,” Goodreau said.


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