2005 Spring Foray OAKLAND COUNTY 

MBC 2005 Spring Foray, hosted by the Southeastern Chapter will be held May 27-30.  We will be headquartered at the Holiday Inn of Troy and will venture into Oakland, Wayne and Macomb Counties.

From the wetlands and woodlands of rolling Oakland County to the banks of the Detroit River to the bogs of the Thumb, there will be something for everyone here in Southeastern Michigan.  Students interested in receiving the Joan Robb Student Scholarship Award  to attend the Foray should contact the president of the chapter in the area where you live or attend school.

Foray Revisited: Photos contributed by Emily Neitering, Pam Smith and Judy Kelly.
Revised June 20, 2005


MAY 27-30, 2005

Reservation form plus check must be received by May 6, 2005.  Room reservations must be made separately by calling the Holiday Inn, Troy at (248) 689-7500 before May 13, 2005.  No refunds will be made after May 13.  Make checks payable to Michigan Botanical Club - SEC.

NAME(S) of Adult reservation(s)________________________________________________

NAME(S) and AGES of accompanying children____________________________________


CITY___________________________________ STATE_______ZIP + 4________________


MBC Chapter membership:

_____ HVC  _____RCC  _____SEC  _____SWC  _____WPC  _____ State  _____ None

I am a full scholarship sponsored student from the above chapter _______

FORAY FEES                                                             Number            Fee                  Subtotal___

Registration Fee for entire weekend                        ______      x    $25.00             $_______

(Everyone 16 years and older must pay, except college students)

*Student rate for meals and registration                    ______     x     $45.00             $_______

for entire weekend

Adult meals package for entire weekend                   ______      x  $105.00             $_______

(Includes 3 breakfasts, 2 box lunches and 2 buffet dinners)

Child (10 and under) meals package for weekend      ______      x    $75.00             $_______

Single day adult registration and meals                    ______      x    $55.00             $_______

(Includes box lunch and buffet dinner)

(circle one:   Saturday  -  Sunday)

*Single day student registration and meals               ______     x     $35.00             $_______

(circle one:  Saturday - Sunday)

Single day child (10 and under) meals                      ______     x     $25.00             $_______

(circle one:   Saturday - Sunday)

Walpole Island Trip (optional Monday AM)                 ______     x     $20.00             $_______

Huron River Canoe Trip (optional Monday AM)           ______     x     $22.00             $_______


TOTAL AMOUNT ENCLOSED                                                                                $_______

*Discounted rate for full time currently enrolled college students not attending as student scholarship awardees.  Please provide a photocopy of valid student ID with registration.

Students must make their own room reservations with hotel.

Names of persons requesting vegetarian lunches_______________________________________

Health and Safety Declaration which each person over 18 must sign and date:

"I assume all responsibility for my health and safety while on the MBC 2005 Spring Foray."

(Parents are responsible for children under 18)

Signature  (1)____________________________________________Date___________________

Signature  (2)____________________________________________Date___________________

Mail to:           Kathleen Thomson, Registrar                       Telephone: (248) 435-2070
                        5066 Elmhurst Ave.
                        Royal Oak, MI   48073-1102                        Tkatkep@aol.com



We are asking you to request your preferred field trips and workshops as a part of your registration.  For each day in which you plan to participate, please indicate each person's 1st, 2nd, and 3rd choices to the left of the title with their initial.  Field trip assignments are first come, first served, with priority given to MBC members in good standing.  Your personal field trip schedule will be waiting for you when you check-in.


 SEQ CHAPTER \h \r 1Choice

Saturday, May 28

All day


Tour of Belle Isle Park & Conservatory/ Rouge Park


Tour of Indian Springs /Timberland Swamp


Seven Ponds Nature Center/ Jonathan Woods



Cranbrook: Herbarium, Science Garden and "Natural Areas"


Glacial Geology Hike and Bus Tour


Oakland County Big Tree Bus Tour



Glacial Geology Hike and Bus Tour


Independence Oaks: Lakeshore, fen and sedge meadow paddle


Oakland County Big Tree Bus Tour


Nature Writing Workshop @ Friendship Woods



Sunday, May 29

All day


Downriver Biodiversity: Lower Huron Metropark/Humbug Marsh


Minden Bog/Jasper Woods/Pine River Nature Center


Shiawassee River Corridor- Bridge Valley/Basin Preserve/Big Valley



Bald Mountain State Park fen


Haven Hill Natural Area


Golden Preserve



Bald Mountain State Park fen


Clinton River Corridor: Rookery/Shadbush


Haven Hill Natural Area


Nature Sketching Workshop @ Friendship Woods



Monday, May 30



Dinosaur Hill/Paint Creek Trail (self-guided)


Fern Tour at Morgan-Porritt Preserve


Huron River Canoe Trip/Proud Lake Bog with lunch (extra charge)


Rouge Green Corridor: Valley Woods/Douglas Evans/Martha Baldwin


Walpole Island & Native Foods Lunch (extra charge)


Tour of Belle Isle Park & Conservatory and Rouge Park, Detroit, Wayne County
(Saturday, ALL DAY, Bus trip, 
Limit 30)

Belle Isle Botanical Society- http://bibsociety.org/sys-tmpl/door/ 
Friends of Belle Isle at www.fobi.org
Plant Census in Detroit Parks - http://www.epa.gov/region5/semi/plantcensus.htm 
River Rouge Park - http://www.rougeriver.com/wildlife/recreation/rrp.html

On Belle Isle we will be focusing on the park's forest reserve covering about 200 acres of this 985 acre island, and its unusual community of wetland oaks, ashes and hickories, including Shumard oak and pumpkin ash. Suzan Campbell originally discovered these two species on the island in 1999.  Suzan, former naturalist at the Belle Isle Nature Center, will lead us through this hardwood bottomland forest and provide us with additional information from the recently completed plant survey of Belle Isle.  We will eat lunch and have a brief tour at the Belle Isle Conservatory.  Rouge Park occupies about 1200 acres located along the Rouge River on the west side of the city of Detroit.  King and MacGregor Environmental, Inc. completed a botanical survey of the park that was published in September 2004.   Bill Brodovich, a botanist with King and MacGregor, will lead us into some of the natural areas on the Rouge River floodplains that were recently surveyed.  Bill will show us some of the species he noted including Nodding Rattlesnake-root, Prenanthes crepidinea (first record in Michigan), Shumard Oak, and other plants considered rare and uncommon in this region. Many of the original landforms along the river still exist including oxbows, meanders, and small islands with a variety of plant communities. Be prepared for wet terrain, some steep slopes and mosquitoes.

Tour of Indian Springs Metropark and Timberland Swamp Nature Sanctuary, Oakland County (Saturday, ALL DAY, Limit 30)

 Indian Springs Metropark - http://www.metroparks.com/parks/pk_indian_springs.php 
Timberland Swamp Nature Sanctuary - http://www.michigannature.org/timberland.shtml

This trip will begin with a tour of the recently opened $12 million Environmental Discovery Center which encompasses about 90 acres in Indian Springs Metropark.  This facility features restored and created wetlands and prairies, a 20,000 square foot building, trails and a large native plant garden.  After the tour there will be an opportunity to walk some trails in the park, including boardwalks through an extensive wetland.  Michelle Hobig, Chief Interpreter at Indian Springs will be our guide.  There will be a $4 per vehicle entrance fee at the Metropark. The afternoon will be spent with Cheryl Jakubik, MNA steward, at the Timberland Swamp Nature Sanctuary.  This is MNA's showplace sanctuary, part of a massive remnant of swampland featuring magnificent spring wildflowers, virgin hardwood forest and a rich bird population.   First opened to the public in 1967, its 245 acres are entirely surrounded by Indian Springs Metropark.  Timberland Swamp is a large basin formed by debris left from the receding glaciers and has remained essentially unchanged. From it flow three important Oakland County streams: the Huron River, the Shiawassee, and one branch of the Clinton River.  Boots should be worn for this portion of the trip.  The marked trail makes a complete loop of 1.5 miles.

Seven Ponds Nature Center and Jonathan Woods, Lapeer County
(Saturday, ALL DAY, 
Limit 30)

Together, the Seven Ponds Nature Center proper and the Jonathan Woods Nature Preserve total 468 acres. The nature center contains a nice variety of natural community types, including field, successional forest, mature forest, swamp, marsh, pond, and lake. It also has a tallgrass prairie reconstruction of about nine acres. The center contains about six miles of trails, but we will visit examples of the above communities without covering all that distance. There are quite a few boardwalks, bridges, and observation platforms, and these allow access to a variety of the wetland habitats. There will be a nice selection of plants on our walk, as well as a variety of birds, amphibians, reptiles, and mammals, which inhabit these areas. The last of the spring migrating birds will be passing through, plus the summer resident birds will be on territory and singing. Sandhill crane, great blue heron, turkey, and many songbirds are likely sightings. Seven Ponds is actively involved in managing nature center lands, and they can share their experience with invasive species, native plantings, and wildlife management. We can also look around the Interpretive Building, which has a number of displays and observation windows overlooking bird feeders.  Jonathan Woods, located about 4 miles away, is comprised of 145 acres of mature forest, including such tree species as oak, beech, hickory, cherry, and maple. The preserve is very hilly with numerous permanent and seasonal ponds in the low areas. Jonathan Woods has a nice variety of amphibians in these ponds, and we should be able to find some of the resident frogs and salamanders. There are also nice populations of woodland birds, including such neotropical migrants as rose-breasted grosbeak, ovenbird, veery, scarlet tanager, and wood thrush.  Pileated woodpeckers are sometimes seen or heard in the woods, and in some years, great blue herons have nested in the preserve. Seven Ponds Director Mike Champagne will be our leader.

Cranbrook: Herbarium, Science Garden, and “Natural” Areas, Oakland County
(Saturday AM, 
Limit 20)

We’ll start with a visit to the Billington Herbarium at the Cranbrook Institute of Science (the third-largest herbarium in the state), discuss the values of herbaria and the importance of plant collecting, and look at some specimens that reflect this herbarium’s particular strengths. Then we’ll proceed outside to the Frederick Erb Science Garden in the courtyard of the Institute. This garden was originally conceived as a collection of native plant communities interwoven with a series of water features, and contains excellent stands of some native species, including Michigan holly (Ilex verticillata), several species of Cornus (dogwoods), sweet-fern (Comptonia peregrina), and spring wildflowers (including a possibly rare Trillium). We’ll consider some of the successes and failures of the design and the plantings, including some plants that are too successful and some serious mistakes made by nurseries. We’ll walk down the hill on the “nature trail” through an area that was once a gravel pit and is now mostly a collection of invasive and weedy species (buckthorn, boxelder, and barberry—oh my!), and discuss what (if any) value such an area has, and what possibilities there might be of “restoring” it to a more natural condition. From there, we’ll take a short hike over to Angley Wood, the only part of the Cranbrook campus that was forested when the Booths bought the property (and thus sometimes erroneously referred to locally as the “virgin forest”). This is a mostly oak-hickory woods, with a lovely grove of hemlocks, large expanses of trout-lilies (Erythronium spp.), and surprisingly few invasives. We’ll cover a total of less than a mile, mostly on paths, except in Angley Wood. Both the nature trail and Angley Wood do have moderately steep slopes, but the walking is otherwise quite easy. Our leader will be Dr. Barbara Madsen, botanical/wetland ecologist & consultant and Interim Collections Manager, Cranbrook Institute of Science.

Glacial Geology Hike and Bus Tour, Oakland County
(Saturday, AM and PM, 
Limit 25)

Hike over late glacial landforms and explore the exotic surface rocks at Pontiac Lake Recreation area. The terrain at this site formed in the interlobate belt between the Saginaw and Huron ice lobes about 14,000 years ago. The 2 to 3 mile hike will involve traversing an end moraine and examining the fabric of the sediment and a walk along the crest of an adjacent esker, a sub-glacial landform formed by water flowing in a tunnel under the ice. The last component of the walk will focus on glacial erratics, exotic ice-transported boulders from the Canadian Shield north of Lake Huron. Many boulders at this site can be correlated with Early Proterozoic formations of the Huronian Supergroup (2.2 to 2.3 billion years old) including tillites that record the earth’s earliest known ice age. The bus drive to and from the site will take you over the Drayton outwash plain, Pontiac till plain, Defiance morainic complex to the Lake plain in Troy. John Zawiskie, geologist and educator at Cranbrook Institute of Science will lead our trip. Dress for all weather, wear sturdy shoes, and bring bug repellant.

Oakland County Big Tree Bus Tour
(Saturday, AM and PM, 
Limit 25)

Join Dr. Woody Ehrle, coordinator of the Michigan Big Tree Program, for a tour of some of Oakland County’s most magnificent arboreal specimens. Potential candidates to visit include Acer saccharinum (297"), Eleagnus angustifolia (93"), Metasequoia glyptostroboides (118"), Pyrus communis (136"), Quercus X scheutii (242"), Quercus X bebbiana (220"), Salix alba (301") (National Champion), Salix alba var tristis (343"), Salix fragilis (338"), and Ulmus rubra (160"). We will be visiting these trees via bus; some relatively short walking may be required to reach some of the trees. Dr. Ehrle heads the Michigan Big Trees Project which maintains the Michigan Botanical Club's data bank on Michigan's state and national champion-sized trees. These lists have been published in the Michigan Botanical Club's professional journal, The Michigan Botanist: 1997, Vols. 35 and 36.

Lakeshore, Fen and Sedge Meadow Paddle at Independence Oaks, Oakland County
(Saturday PM, 
Limit 21)

Join an Oakland County Parks naturalist on a canoe tour of Crooked Lake at Independence Oaks County Park to examine the fascinating lake edge habitats including fens, sedge meadows and wet mesic prairies. The recent Michigan Natural Features Inventory of Independence Oaks will be highlighted. We will meet at the Lewis Wint Nature Center for a short hike, but plan to spend most of the afternoon on the water. Sun-protection is a must! All equipment is provided for the canoe tour. Please dress to be comfortable in a canoe, and be sure to bring clothing and sun block as well as bug repellant.

Nature Writing Workshop: Nature, Culture, Place and Self
(Saturday PM, 
Limit 15)


Thoreau said, "poetry is truer than science" because it deals with the spiritual, and science solely with the material. Oral and literary traditions throughout many ages have relied on this basis of truth for cultural identity. It is only in recent times that the scientific mind has come to represent "the truth" and replace poetic truth. In this program, we will venture out into the watershed, woods and weather to open up to the place where we are, and begin to understand how to locate ourselves culturally and historically through geologic, ecologic and cultural time. We will engage in several writing exercises, both poetry and prose, and share our work if so inspired. We will read from various poets and writers who deal with "nature" in their work such as Annie Dillard, Wendell Berry, Edward Abbey and Pablo Neruda, as well as touch upon the emergence of literary eco-criticism. The Nature Center at Friendship Woods will host us.  Our workshop leader, Mary Tischler, has an MFA in Writing and Poetics from the Jack Kerouac School of Disembodied Poetics at Naropa University, founded by Allen Ginsberg, where she studied with eco-poet Jack Collom. She is active with land, literature and community, serving on the board of the Oakland Land Conservancy, the Oakland Township Historical Society, and the Oakland Chapter of Wild Ones, and is a member of the Association for the Study of Literature and Environment, an academic organization affiliated with the Modern Language Association, where eco-criticism, eco-literature and place-based studies have found professional support.

Downriver Biodiversity: Lower Huron Metropark Woods and Humbug Marsh, Wayne County (Sunday, ALL DAY, Bus trip, Limit 49)

Ecological & Natural Resource Values of Humbug Marsh - http://www.tellusnews.com/ahr/hum/enrvhm.shtml 
Humbug Marsh Saved from Development - http://www.detroitriver.org/humbugmarsh.html 

Our river bottom forests in southern Michigan were one of the great glories of the pre-settlement landscape. Not only did they contain some of the largest trees in the state – giant sycamores or plane trees many yards in circumference – but they also had the greatest diversity of woody plants of any ecosystem. Not only that, but they were very showy settings as well, with the rivers lined with flowering trees like redbuds, and the woods full of trilliums and other spring wildflowers. Like all other forest communities in southern Michigan, these areas have been greatly reduced in extent and degraded. However, at Lower Huron Metropark, we will get a glimpse of what these sites must have once been like. Here, we can see giant sycamores nearly five feet in diameter, as well as giant oaks, walnuts, ash, hackberries, and other typical bottomland forest trees. Not only that, but this site has very high woody plant diversity as well, with about 55 species of trees and shrubs plants. We will see such rare trees and shrubs as Kentucky coffee trees, burning bush (Euonymus atropurpureus), four-angled ash, redbud, and pawpaw, as well as more common southern elements like tulip trees, spicebush, and bladdernut. These river bottoms were also well known sites for herbaceous plant diversity, and the Lower Huron floodplain is no exception. Large stands of wildflowers will be mostly past their peak, but we will be able to pick out such rarities as extensive colonies of goldenseal, plus colonies of the rare Virginia snakeroot (Aristolochia serpentaria), and beaked grass (Diarrhena americana). One other phenomenon that we will be able to observe and study is the beginnings of change in the forest due to the deaths of many of the ash because of the emerald ash borer. Being close to the point of introduction, this site has lost a lot of its ash trees already, and is in the process of adapting to this change.  Our leader is Tony Reznicek, Curator of Vascular Plants at the University of Michigan Herbarium.  This trip will also include a visit to the newly preserved Humbug Marsh, 410 acres of wooded wetland, which sit along the Detroit River in Trenton and Gibraltar.  This property was recently saved from development, with much drawn-out litigation, and was purchased by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service last September.  It is now federally protected and a part of the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge.   Humbug Marsh represents the last miles of natural coastline open to the public along the river.  Since no naturalists were allowed on the property until last fall, we have no idea what spring flora is there, so trip participants can contribute to the first plant survey.  Bruce Jones of the Grosse Ile Nature and Land Conservancy will be our leader.  Be prepared for wet feet, bugs and a great opportunity!

Minden Bog, Jasper Woods and Pine River Nature Center, St. Clair and Sanilac Counties(Sunday, ALL DAY, Bus trip, Limit 25)

We will be visiting three areas on our trip to St. Clair and Sanilac Counties; they include Jasper Woods Nature Sanctuary – owned by the Michigan Nature Association, the Pine River Nature Center – owned by the St. Clair County Regional Educational Service Agency and Minden Bog.

Jasper Woods Nature Sanctuary is home to an Eastern hemlock dominated forest - a rarity for southern Michigan. We will be exploring this woodland in search of Painted Trillium (Trillium undulatum), a state endangered wildflower in Michigan. According to State records, Painted Trillium now occurs at just six remaining locations in all of Michigan, and all six locations are in St. Clair County, which has the distinction of being located on the western edge of the Painted Trillium range in North America. The distribution of the species is extremely limited by unique habitat requirements, and by habitat destruction resulting from development. In St. Clair County, Painted Trillium grows only in cool, acidic sands in mature second-growth forests of Red Maple, Paper Birch, Eastern Hemlock, and Eastern White Pine. It seems that Painted Trillium and its northern forest habitat are remnant of a cooler post-glacial period in the Port Huron area.

At the Pine River Nature Center, we will be exploring the floodplain forest of the Pine River to view a rich spring wildflower community. Highlight includes viewing the unique habitats of Broad-leaved Puccoon (Lithospermum latifolium) and Green Dragon (Arisamea draconitum). Both are plant species of special concern in Michigan.  Minden Bog, which covers several square miles in northern Sanilac County, is a true raised bog—that is, a wetland that has built up a dome of peat that rises above the local surface waters. The bog surface thus gets all of its water and nutrients directly from precipitation, resulting in a highly acidic and very nutrient-poor ecosystem. Such peatlands usually develop only much farther north or in oceanic climates; Minden is the southernmost raised bog in the U.S., and the second most southerly in North America. It is also Michigan’s only extant raised bog; two others have been destroyed. We will talk about the development of such a bog, and examine the plant communities typical of a raised bog surface, especially the ericaceous shrubs (if we’re lucky, the sheep-laurel will have started to bloom!) and several species of Sphagnum (yes, you can learn to recognize species of peat moss in the field!). We’ll look at a couple of areas that have burned in the last few years, gaze across the drainage ditch at a large peat-mining operation, and discuss the effects of these human impacts on the bog. We’ll also talk about some northern animal species that have disjunct populations here, and about research in paleoclimatology being carried out at this site.

We’ll be crossing the Black River on a narrow footbridge that is reasonably sturdy but which has no handrail (those who are very afraid of heights or very unsteady on their feet may not want to try this), then hiking a total of about 2 miles roundtrip on a well-established path, with occasional forays off the path. The surface of a raised bog is mostly just damp, so you aren’t likely to get wet feet unless you decide to wade in the river or the drainage ditch. Be prepared for sun and wind on this huge open bog, but bugs usually aren’t a big problem. Long pants are recommended for walking through the shrubby vegetation.  The Jasper Woods and Pine River Nature Center trips will be led by Lisa Appel, botanist and naturalist, director of the Pine River Nature Center and project manager and co-author of Explore our Natural World: A Biodiversity Atlas of the Lake Huron to Lake Erie Corridor. Dr. Barbara Madsen, botanical and wetland ecologist will lead the Minden Bog trip.

Shiawassee River Corridor: Headwaters and fens of north Oakland County
(Sunday, ALL DAY, Bus trip, 
Limit 25)

Sue Julian, Shiawassee River Task-Force Coordinator will show us some of her favorite areas in north Oakland County, beginning with the Bridge Valley easement, owned by the North Oakland Headwaters Land Conservancy.  This area has an early spring burn planned and participants can view the effects of the burn and see what may be germinating by late May.  We will also visit the Basin Preserve, owned by Springfield Township, containing an extensive prairie fen wetland, uplands and forest.  This area is described by the Michigan Natural Features Inventory as part of an "undisturbed, intact, and highly significant natural complex" considered to be "of exceptional ecological value."  Fred Dye, MNA Trustee, will take us into the 95 acre Big Valley Nature Sanctuary.  This undisturbed parcel contains several fens, upland prairie areas and other interesting physiographic features.  There will be some uphill and downhill walking and boots may be needed, but Fred is 84 years old, and if he can do it, maybe you can too!

Bald Mountain State Recreation Area, Oakland County
(Sunday AM and PM, Limit 25)

Friends of Bald Mountain at www.orion.lib.mi.us/fobmra

The parking lot behind Lake Orion High School can be considered the Bald Mountain highlands at about 1000 feet elevation. We will be heading gradually down, first through a sloping meadow, then through upland hardwood forest to the Clear Creek basin and fen area which is around 910 feet elevation. Here we will find several open fens surrounded by an extensive dense protective white cedar forest.  There are over 100 species of vascular plants, including 68 of the plants listed as prevalent species in Michigan fens.  The wetland basin encompasses about 150 acres. It should be around a 3/4 of a mile walk to get to the fen and 3/4 of a mile back, so about a two-mile trip. It is hilly and there will be some up and down walking. Long pants, hiking boots and bug repellent is necessary. Our leader, Mac Deuparo, reports that the wetlands and upland forest are also Massasauga Rattlesnake habitat, but he hasn't seen a rattler in about five years.

Haven Hill Designated National Natural Landmark, Oakland County
(Sunday AM and PM)

Haven Hill, within the Highland State Recreation Area in White Lake and Highland Townships, is a Legally Dedicated Natural Area and National Natural Landmark. The Haven Hill Natural Area has all of southern Michigan's principal forest types within one small area, including swamp forest of tamarack, cedar, beech-maple forest, oak-hickory forest, and mixed hardwood forest. The area has remained largely undisturbed for the past 75 years and has retained its natural character as well as some unusual flora and fauna. It is an excellent educational facility that is used by universities and international organizations. Hiking will be moderately difficult; Bug spray may be appreciated.  Our morning trip leader will be Kathy Kavanaugh of the Michigan Natural Features Inventory.  Our afternoon co-leaders will be Burt Barnes of the University of Michigan School of Natural Resources and the Environment, and Melanie Gunn, a University of Michigan lecturer and teacher at the UM Biological Station, who have both been taking their classes to Haven Hill for many years.

Golden Preserve, Oakland County
(Sunday AM, 
Limit 25)

The 34.4 acre Golden Preserve within the Shiawassee Headwaters is recognized by the Michigan Natural Features Inventory and The Nature Conservancy as being of regional significance.  This property has been managed by the Oakland Land Conservancy since its purchase in 2001.  The Golden Preserve contains an interesting glacial influenced topography and a diverse mixture of plant communities.  The upland communities are a remnant prairie and an extensive oak-hardwood forest, with several oak openings.  The wetland areas include an extensive prairie fen, which includes an unusual perched fen, where artesian groundwater seepage results in the buildup of marl and organic material, causing this wetland to be at a higher elevation than surrounding areas.  The habitats at the Golden Preserve are high quality examples of presettlement plant communities, which were maintained by natural fires.  Oakland Land Conservancy's management of the Golden Preserve is focused on the use of prescribed burns to help the fen and prairie and oak openings to remain open.  Donna Folland, Executive Director of the Oakland Land Conservancy will be our leader.

Tour of the Clinton River Corridor, Oakland and Macomb Counties
(Sunday PM, 
Limit 25)

We will visit two sites along the Clinton River Corridor near the heart of the Clinton River Watershed in Rochester Hills and Shelby Township. The Clinton River in this area is marked by beautiful southern floodplain forests, steep bluffs, and a high-quality river that contains salmon and trout. The Clinton River Rookery Preserve is the first nature preserve acquired by Oakland Land Conservancy. These 24.5 acres encompass one mile of both sides of the Clinton River in the heart of Rochester Hills. The outstanding feature at this Preserve is the blue heron rookery. The eggs hatch in April and are ready to fledge by May. Donna Folland of the Oakland Land Conservancy will lead us. Shadbush is a 70 acre Legally Dedicated Natural Area in Shelby Township in Macomb County, just north of Utica. It is located in Riverbends Park, formerly part of the Rochester-Utica state recreation area. This area exists in what was once a relatively flat glacial lake plain, which was covered at one point by an extensive river delta. At a later time, a broad valley was deeply cut into the delta by glacial melt waters, creating a steep hillside approximately fifty feet high, with a narrow low terrace at its base. The tamarack swamp and boggy areas of the low ground contain interesting and unusual plants. More than 50 different species of trees and shrubs alone are found in the tract. The Clinton River runs along the eastern boundary. Dan Farmer, Shelby Township naturalist, will lead us. The tour will start at the Shadbush Nature Center, and from there we will walk down the 39 stairs to the northern wet swamp area. Please wear sturdy shoes, dress for all weather, and bring bug repellant.

Nature Drawing and Sketching Workshop
(Sunday PM, 
Limit 15)

Workshoppers will have an opportunity to learn techniques for keeping a visual journal of their botanical discoveries, or to incorporate sketches to enhance their field notes, and/or to have quiet time with others getting to know botanicals more intimately through sketching, drawing and/or painting. You are encouraged to bring your own small sketch book, pencils, black pen, watercolors, a wide-brimmed hat and insect repellent.  We will work in and around the Friendship Woods Nature Center in Madison Heights. Our leader, Sarah Nooden, has been keeping a pencil, ink and/or watercolor sketchbook journal for fun and education on and off since she attended the MBC Spring Foray at Grand Valley State University in 1993, but especially after a 1994 trip to the Amazon rainforest in Peru. For many years she was a research assistant in plant biology at the University of Michigan, then received a BA from the UM in 1993. As “The Rainforest Lady” 1994 - 2000, she has presented slide illustrated programs and her journals on the Amazon rainforest to university, K-12, church and community groups, including the 1997 and 1999 Bluebird Festival, 1998 Michigan Science Teachers Convention and EMU Teachers Rainforest Workshops. Educators increasingly promote journaling to teach observation and analysis. One does not need to be an artist to enjoy this technique and to make useful records of one's observations.

Dinosaur Hill Nature Preserve and Paint Creek Trail, Oakland County
(Monday AM, self-guided, 
Unlimited participants)

Dinosaur Hill Nature Preserve in nearby Rochester features nice chipped wood trails along Paint Creek with some floodplain forest and vernal pools.  The trails connect directly to the Paint Creek Trail, an 11 mile linear park following the grade of an old railroad.  The crushed limestone surface is suitable for hiking or biking.  Maps for both Dinosaur Hill and the Paint Creek Trail will be available at the foray.  The Nature Center building will be closed on Monday.

Fern Tour at the Morgan-Porritt Preserve, Oakland County
(Monday AM, 
Limit 15)

A thriving cedar swamp provides refuge for some special plants and migratory birds.  Delicate liverworts and mosses cover the trees, and ferns sprout from every available space.  This place is not in the U.P., but in Orion Township of Oakland County.  Great Lakes Crossing, one of the largest shopping malls in the state, sits a little over a mile away.  The Morgan-Porritt Plant Preserve was acquired by MNA in 1994.  It consists of two lots in an area platted in the 1950's.  Fortunately the hydrology of the area protected this site from being developed.  In 2003 an adjoining parcel was added to the Preserve.  MNA is currently raising money to buy additional parcels nearby.  Cheryl Jakubik, MNA Steward, will be our guide, and Margaret Converse, Southeastern Chapter member, will help us with fern identification.

Canoe Tour of the Huron River in Oakland County
(Monday AM, including lunch and canoe rental at additional cost)


Lisa Appel, botanist, naturalist and director of the Pine River Nature Center will help us discover the Proud Lake Recreation Area in Wixom though a canoe and hiking trip. We will spend the morning exploring the wetlands of the Huron River by canoe. Natural communities include hardwood, conifer and shrub-swamp as well as open marsh surrounded by oak-hickory forest. A small portage over a dam will afford us the opportunity to view the spring wildflowers growing in nearby forest. We will paddle upstream to Proud Lake, which has excellent bird watching opportunities. The canoe trip is usually leisurely; high spring water flows could make it more difficult. After the canoe trip, we will visit the Proud Lake Nature Study Area, which is a state designated natural area. Located upon a pitted outwash plain, the area's outstanding feature is a deep kettle depression that houses a floating bog lake. A conifer swamp with tamarack and poison sumac surrounds the open sphagnum and sedge community. The bog area and surrounding woodland encompass one of the richest botanical spots in southeastern Michigan. The natural area is difficult to access, so be prepared for primitive trails and old boardwalks. Good hiking boots are necessary.

Tour of the Rouge Green Corridor, Oakland County
(Monday AM, Bus trip, 
Limit 25)

The Rouge Green Corridor is the ravine and woodland habitat adjacent to the Main branch of the Rouge River in Birmingham, Beverly Hills, and Southfield. The Corridor, located in the heart of urbanized Southeast Oakland County, is home to over 100 species of birds, 19 species of butterflies, 8 species of frogs and toads and at least 17 species of mammals. The Corridor has been the focus of public involvement and coordinated planning for the future use of the public parks and preserves. The tour will include visits to high quality sites including Valley Woods Preserve, formerly the Berberian tract now owned by the City of Southfield, Douglas Evans Nature Preserve in Beverly Hills, a prairie meadow planted on top of a storm water retention basin and Martha Baldwin Park, Birmingham, a native plant learning garden, using groundwater as a source of water. Volunteers involved with site restoration and interpretation will be available at each of the site visits. Lillian Dean, Southeastern Oakland County Water Authority, will lead this event. Tour participants will learn about the evolving organizational partnerships, biodiversity discoveries, and public use activities that have brought the Corridor into the public eye. Some easy walking on dirt roads will be involved. If weather has been damp, be prepared for a few mosquitoes.

Tour of Walpole Island & Native Foods Lunch, Canada
(Monday AM, including lunch at an additional cost, 
Limit 30)

Walpole Island is named “Bkejwanong” in the tongue of its inhabitants, meaning, “where the waters divide”, and lies within the heart of the Lake Huron to Erie Corridor in the St. Clair River delta. The Island contains presettlement landscapes in pristine condition, including tall grass prairie, oak savanna, Carolinian forest, and rare freshwater coastal marshes. It is home to 5 plants known nowhere else in Canada, 108 provincially rare plants, and over 800 recorded species of vascular plants. Walpole is managed by the Walpole Island First Nation, and is the traditional homeland of the Ojibwe, Odawa, and Potawatomi people who together comprise a political compact known as the Three Fires Confederacy. The Ojibwe language “Anishinaabemowin” is the native tongue, though most inhabitants speak English. The Walpole Island Philosophy and Principle states “We the people of the First Nations of Walpole Island Indian Territory have inhabited these lands since the beginning of time. With this occupation we have developed our own language, heritage and values…in accordance with the Creator, mankind and nature. Through this relationship we possess the rights and freedom to determine our own path. We shall carry on these responsibilities as handed down to us by our Creator and our elders and ensure that future generations shall be entrusted with these sacred obligations”.  We will travel to the Walpole Island Heritage Centre on Walpole Island and will be treated to a lecture on the biodiversity and cultural heritage of Walpole Island, followed by a driving tour and short hikes through unique and globally rare habitats. The morning will conclude with a lunch prepared of native foods found on or near the Island, which may include game meat, wild rice and corn soup.

If you plan on going on this trip you will need to cross into Canadian territory via the Algonac auto ferry, so please be prepared to present all documents including birth certificate and driver’s license or passport. Any food restrictions should be communicated in writing at the time of registration. Please dress for all weather conditions, wear sturdy shoes, and bring any items to make you comfortable, including bug spray.  Clint Jacobs and David White will lead us. Clint Jacobs is a member of the Walpole Island First Nation of Chippewa/Potawatomi descent. Clint is employed with the Walpole Island Heritage Centre as the Natural Heritage Coordinator, and his primary responsibilities include coordinating the development of a community awareness program that promotes the natural heritage of the Walpole Island First Nation. Dave White is the Acting Director of the Walpole Island Heritage Centre and member of the Walpole Island First Nation. He is responsible for the operation of the Heritage Centre, which is the research arm of the Walpole Island First Nation.