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Recently, I have started to appreciate the number and diversity of birds in Southwest Michigan. I have known that this area is very popular for bird watching and have had many conversations with bird watchers, however I had not until recently taken much time to really look for or at the birds. Now that I have, a whole new world of interest while outdoors has opened up to me.

As a photographer and videographer for the Makers Trail, I have had the privilege of getting to speak with a variety makers and visit many of the trail locations. What really strikes me from this experience is how unique each location is. The diversity of locations, architecture, products, and overall experiences is remarkable. From quiet tasting rooms to bustling full-sensory experiences and from classic flavors to experimental concoctions there are amazing options in Berrien County.

Related Member: Love Creek County Park & Nature Center

Once it snows in Southwest Michigan, it’s time to get out and have fun! Three silent sports — cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and fat tire biking — are great ways for kids to adults to get exercise, see the beauty of this season and do so at their own pace. Whether you are a first-timer (welcome!) or a can’t-get-enough-snow-time winter sports enthusiast, here are a few tips to make your time outdoors safer and more enjoyable:

Christmas Tree

Handmade gifts warm the heart in ways that mass-produced gifts can’t. Yet it’s the start of December … is there really time to make something someone on your list might treasure? DEFINITELY! Come to Southwest Michigan and take one of our fun classes! Not only can you spend a few dedicated hours making your gifts, but you can have fun with family and friends doing it! Here are some suggestions:

Related Member: The Livery


I (Brandon DeJaynes) moved to the Southwest corner of Michigan five years ago with little knowledge of the community and its music scene. At the time, I was working as an Independent Contractor in Live Music Production and was frequently traveling and spending a lot of time away from home. As a self-proclaimed music geek, I yearned to find a venue close to home that would cater to my never-ending quest to find new, interesting and original music. To my delight, I discovered that The Livery in Benton Harbor has an eclectic and diverse music scene.

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