Originally named the Hamilton Township Coastal Plain Marsh, this sanctuary was renamed in 2013 to recognize the Phillips Family's commitment to conservation in the area. Longtime MNA member Jerry Phillips passed away in 2013 and wished to ensure that natural areas remained protected for future generations. He joined the Guardians of the Future Society and included a remarkable gift to MNA as part of his estate planning. This is one of three MNA sanctuaries that protect a coastal plain marsh, a wetland plant community home to many species usually found on the Atlantic and Gulf coasts. More than 40 such species – known as disjuncts because they’re separated from their original home ground – grow in Michigan’s coastal plains.
Disjunct plants that can be found at Phillips Family Memorial Nature Sanctuary include bald-rush, seedbox, and tall beak-rush — a few of the 40 different disjunct species that only grow in Michigan’s coastal plains. Virginia meadow beauty is a striking special-concern species found in the sanctuary; it can be identified by its showy pink-purple petals and contrasting yellow anthers.
The disjunct plant species and coastal plain marsh community make Phillips Family Memorial Nature Sanctuary a must-see for those who want to experience a truly distinctive part of southwestern Michigan.
Planning Your Visit:
The Virginia meadow beauty brings beautiful color to Phillips Family Memorial Nature Sanctuary in the summer, while the upland forest provides a show of colors in the fall.
How To Get There:
The sanctuary is located in Van Buren County at the intersection of C.R. 215/52nd St. and 84th Ave, behind the Historic Hamilton Grange Hall.
For additional information, contact the MNA office at (866) 223-2231.
View the Sanctuary Fact Sheet
Phillips Family Memorial Nature Sanctuary Fact Sheet.pdf