N 42° 56.519'
W 085° 48.270'

Approaching from the east, you will know you are almost at the Bend Area when you see an open field and a set of mysterious train tracks that run into the water. This open field used to serve as a campground. The train tracks are used to move the "Grand Lady" river boat in and out of the water each spring and fall. Approaching from the west you will see a large inlet that leads to an inland lake that was created from aggregate mining.

The Bend Area is a piece of property that in the future will demonstrate the integration of aggregate mining and wetland protection. The concept being applied to this property is called "wetland banking". Wetland banking is one type of post-mining land-use that is especially relevant to aggregate mining, because the landscape features created through the mining process produce essential elements to generate new wetlands.

The Bend Area has several natural and man-made characteristics that provide a favorable site to create wetlands. The site already has approximately 160 acres of existing wetlands, and it exists along the Grand River, a natural corridor for migrating birds. Another positive factor in creating wetland habitat in this location is the quality of plant and wildlife in the surrounding area. An inventory of native plants was taken near the mining site that showed an impressive number of wetland species. Also an inventory of bird species shows there were fifty-three bird species present including the Bald Eagle and the Golden Eagle. Having these plant and bird species in an area that has active mining operations to the immediate east and west side is a strong indication of the compatibility of mining and wetland development.