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North Point Park (Van Buren County, Michigan) facts for kids

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North Point Park
Dune overlooking Lake Michigan at North Point Conservation Area.jpg
Dune overlooking Lake Michigan at North Point Park
Location Van Buren County, Michigan, USA
Nearest city South Haven, Michigan
Area 17 acres (6.9 ha)
Governing body Van Buren County, Michigan

North Point Park, also known as North Point Conservation Area, is located in the southwestern portion of the U.S. state of Michigan, along the shore of Lake Michigan. The park is owned by Van Buren County, Michigan and includes about 17 acres (6.9 ha) of public land situated on the Lake Michigan shore. The park is adjacent to, and due North of, the Van Buren State Park (Michigan). Public access to the conservation area is gained via an entrance and parking area on Ruggles Road (off of Blue Star Highway).

North Point Park is also commonly known as the "Old Boy Scout Camp," as this area has been used and maintained by Boy Scouts from Southwest Michigan for many generations. Many Boy Scouts have had Eagle Scout Projects focusing on various facets of the site. Such projects have included the planting of hundreds of indigenous trees, maintaining trails and installing erosion control measures.

North Point Park has 330 feet (100 m) of scenic Lake Michigan beach, forested critical dunes, and wetlands. The Southwest Michigan Land Conservancy has a conservation easement on the property to protect it from future development.

The park boasts unmarked trails that meander through a climax maple / beech forest to the top of a sand dune where a panoramic view of Lake Michigan can be enjoyed. Many visitors access the area by boat and use the beach for summertime recreation. On a nice summer day, several boats are often anchored off the shore of North Point.

North Point Park is unique. These sand dunes are made of sand deposited in the Great Lakes Basin 10,000 years ago by melting glaciers. North Point is part of the world’s largest freshwater dune system, which stretches 100 miles (160 km) along the southern and southeastern shores of Lake Michigan. Coastal sand dunes around the Great Lakes constitute vital and distinctive environments that support more unique species of plants, insects, animals than any other ecosystem in the Great Lakes Basin.

Lake Michigan and the Great Lakes are a natural wonder which contain more than 95% of North America’s freshwater and are the largest readily available source of freshwater in the world. Less than one percent of the natural habitat near the shores of Lake Michigan is still intact.

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