“You are an inspiration to me! . . . I hope your efforts to save the dunescape in Saugatuck from plutocratic rapine are successful. Bless you for fighting the good fight.” –Stephanie Mills, author of Epicurean Simplicity and In Service of the Wild
In 2003, I was co-winner of the Michigan Environmental Council’s Petoskey Prize for my work to preserve Saugatuck Dunes State Park. In 2006, I helped found the Saugatuck Dunes Coastal Alliance. And in 2009, I was awarded a Mesa Refuge writer’s residency in Point Reyes Station, California.
The Saugatuck Dunes—twenty-five hundred acres of lightly settled hills—lie along Lake Michigan and the Kalamazoo River between Douglas and Holland, Michigan. These rare dunes hold a host of ecological wonders including old-growth forest and globally imperiled interdunal wetlands, the outskirts of two historical small towns, at least one ghost town, and an internationally renowned art school. They do not look or feel quite like anywhere else—and they are a day trip away from several major cities. Their endurance into the 21st century is something of a miracle.
Select Publications by Alison Swan on the Saugatuck Dunes
Enough, Michigan Quarterly Review
Dunes Decision Troubling for All, Bridge
The Saugatuck Dunes: Artists Respond to a Freshwater Landscape