Vol. 14 No. 2
"Nature is painting for us, day after day, pictures of infinite beauty if only we have the eyes to see them." - John Ruskin
In this issue...
Reflections from the President
from the President
During the first few months of the year the Grosse Ile Nature and Land Conservancy Board has focused on developing our budget and associated goals for 2006. Thanks to the generosity of our members, we were able to set some ambitious goals. The following is a brief summary of our major goals and planned activities for this year.
Our Education Committee kicked off their 2006 activities with an Arbor Day program at the elementary schools. They will continue to work on environmental education curriculums for different age groups.
An educational seminar on "Selection and Planting of Trees" was held May 16th. The focus of the seminar was to assist the Township's residents in selecting appropriate replacement trees for the many thousands of ash trees we are losing to the Emerald Ash Borer. It is being shown on the Township's cable station if you missed it. We received very positive feedback from the live and television audiences. Also, much of the valuable information will be made available on our website at www.ginlc.org. Look for information on future seminars on our website, in our newsletters and in the Ile Camera.
The committee will again partner with the Grosse Ile Recreation Department to coordinate several Discovery Camp programs at the Nature Area this summer. Children from Del Ray will visit along with several student and local scout groups.
Landscapes for Learning projects are being drafted for waterfront access and rain gardens at the Middle School. Grant writing and a major fundraising campaign will be instituted to ensure that these projects come to fruition.
Establishing An Office/Storage Area
We are continuing in our efforts to secure an office somewhere on the island. This office will be used to house and better organize the Conservancy's many drawings, displays, and documents as well as house our library. It would also be used to hold meetings. Please contact me if you are aware of an office on Grosse Ile that we might be able to lease.
Add Board Members
I am happy to report we have added two new Board Members, Ken Tilp and Jake Adkins in April. Ken will be our new Treasurer and Jake will be assisting Fred Pepper on Stewardship activities with our properties.
New Fundraising Program
We have kicked off a new program involving neighborhood meetings to educate Grosse Ile residents on our mission to improve the quality of life on Grosse Ile and our many projects and initiatives in support of this mission. Our initial neighborhood meeting was held on N. Loma Circle in March. We received very positive feedback from the attendees. Our second meeting was held in June on Halley Crescent.
Nature Area Committee
Plans are to construct and install three additional observation decks and improved signs to assist visitors in navigating through the nature area. A form is being developed to assist visitors in documenting any observed animal or plant life and to develop an inventory of flora, fauna and minerals identified in the Nature Area. In addition, an Eastern Fox Snake mounting is being done, for educational purposes.
Land Acquisition Committee
We are working on several promising leads for potential donations of property to the Conservancy. We are hopeful that one or more of these opportunities to acquire additional property will occur. We currently have approximately 300 acres in protected status on Grosse Ile.
We currently have 123 families, businesses and corporations as members of the Conservancy. We are planning to develop a membership and volunteer e-mail listing for improved communication on significant issues that crop up, GINLC-sponsored events and work parties.
A carryover goal for 2006 is the completion of a virtual reality tour of GINLC properties available on our website which would allow our members and the general public to view the Conservancy-owned properties from the comfort of their home. Greg Roginski, our Webmaster, has continued to work on upgrading our website and we have received very positive feedback on the website layout and content from many people. If you haven't visited it recently please check it out at www.ginlc.org.
Plans for 2006 include a memorial tree and plaque for Will Forshee on Macomb, a survey and installation of a GINLC property sign on the D'Avanzo property (completed last month), continued Phragmytes control on the BASF lots and continued participation in the annual Island Cleanup. A shoreline enhancement project is also planned for the Kobiljak property as well as revegetation of the Cleaver property that was stripped of much of its vegetative cover by the Township Sewer Project.
As you can see we have established a very ambitious set of goals for 2006 that we were able to establish due to the generosity of our membership. As always, if you would like to help, have questions, or suggestions for future projects you can contact us through our website, or through any one of the Board members listed on the cover page of this newsletter. On behalf of the GINLC Board, I would like to thank all of you for your assistance in improving the quality of life on Grosse Ile and your continuing support of the Conservancy!