Vol. 17 No. 1
In this issue...
Date to be announced
from the President
Many if not most of us love the full four season climate that Grosse Ile provides us, but when the calendar says Spring! I for one am ready for it. After several decades in Michigan , what I still find difficult to adapt to is the spring tease we often need to get through before spring truly arrives. Hopefully, when this reaches your mailbox we will be enjoying some mild spring days colored with lots more green and cheered by the delightful sounds of the songbirds preparing for new life.
Instead of hibernating, although it was very tempting this January, your board of directors has spent many hours meeting and planning for both 2009 and future years. We always have a long list of ideas for projects and activities, but with the normal limitations of finances, project leaders and volunteers, we must whittle the plan down to one that we can accomplish while leaving a little breathing room to squeeze in those serendipitous opportunities that seem to arise as the year progresses.
A number of Conservancy goals, projects and events are highlighted throughout this newsletter. We hope to see you at some of them!
This year we are planning several work-dates to perform maintenance and remove invasives on our properties, led by our Stewardship Chair Pat Selby. Our main date for clean-up will be Saturday May 2nd . We hope to have enough volunteers to split up and cover many sites. Can you join us? We’ll meet at Centennial Farm at 9AM.
We will continue to work to engage the community in learning experiences related to conservation. Our goals for the year include the completion of several projects that have been in progress, while exploring new opportunities. See the article on Intrepid Pond for one example. We expect the bulk of that project to be completed this spring.
Recently we were pleased to be able to review the Grosse Ile Schools’ Landscape for Learning conceptual designs with our school administrators. Several areas were identified as in need of restoration and landscaping because of the death of so many ash trees. We have also had discussions with our township leadership regarding the improvement of a number of existing trails on township properties. One project that’s sorely needed is to improve year round accessibility through the wetland and woods at the Airport Recreation Park . As I wrote in last year’s spring newsletter, it’s a wonderful place for a sheltered walk in the winter. However, there are several points along the trail that are under water when the snow melts. If you weigh less than 100 pounds and have good balance, you can probably walk with ease across the 2x4 beam that traverses the feeder stream to Frenchman’s Creek that breaks the trail. Otherwise you need to wear some high rubber boots to slosh through the water. Just don’t slip on the bank. We were hoping to find a future Eagle Scout who could work on this project, but perhaps we will need to just tackle it ourselves. With the support of our township managers we hope to submit grant applications this year to kick start this project.
At this time we have a full plate of ideas for potential projects to be designed and implemented. Our board will carefully evaluate the ideas and proposed plans before committing funds and resources. Additional fundraising, whether through grants or private donations will likely be necessary for success.
Public Relations / Clothing Sales
In past years we have sold our logo items at our special events like the Earth Day Celebration, our annual meeting and at the Historical Society Holiday Boutique. This year we will make them available throughout the year. Just call Ken at 734-675-7633 to purchase a cap, t-shirt or golf shirt with the GINLC logo.
In the fall of 2008 we applied to the Michigan Land Bank Fast Track Authority to purchase 7 lots in the Grosse Ile Woods. Mo st of these properties were adjacent to or in the vicinity of our holdings. Our request was approved in March and we expect to receive the deeds shortly.
The Grosse Ile Nature Area remains closed for the remediation work required by the agreement to transfer the property from the US EPA to the Interior Department’s Fish & Wildlife Service, as described in our last newsletter. Although the Army Corps of Engineers has until January 2010 to complete the remediation, spring brings forth hope from Refuge Manager John Hartig that the work will be finished sooner so that public access can resume in the second half of the year.