Stearns Preserve

Established in 2008, this preserve protects 14 acres and 1,400 feet of natural habitat along the Pine River in Seville Township, Gratiot County. It abuts the Fred Meijer Heartland Trail. Parking is available trailside, and the preserve begins directly north of the trail and east of Lumberjack Road.

The first acre, on the west side, protecting 450 feet of the Pine River, was purchased in 2008 from Frank Hyde. An addition of 13 acres was made possible by Don and Karen Stearns in December, 2009, via a transfer of ownership from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources in exchange for a 30-acre orchid bog in the Upper Peninsula near Cedarville that was purchased by the Stearns. This property is named in honor of Clayton and MaryLee Stearns, who were long-time residents of Riverdale.