Michigan Botanical Club
Note: Deadlines and Costs: There is no charge for the MCB Foray events.You must register and pay for the boxed lunch is $13.00 and the dinner buffet is $16.00 if you would like these.
Please send a check to Lynda Pelkey at 6909 Long Lake Rd, Berrien Springs, MI 49103 for the optional meals. Make the check payable to: Michigan Botanical Club, Southwestern Chapter. The deadline is September 25, 2017.
Saturday & Sunday, October 7 & 8, 2017 Pierce Cedar Creek Institute
Welcome to the MBC 2017 Fall Mini-Foray: The MBC, Southwestern Chapter is pleased to host the MBC
Mini-foray at Pierce Cedar Creek Institute (PCCI) in Barry County, south of Hastings Michigan. It will be a one-and-a- half-day event including field trips and programs. There will be a dinner buffet Saturday evening followed by a lecture. For those interested, the PCCI is sponsoring a Sunday Brunch program that we may participate in.
A brief description of the geological and botanical history of Barry County
The landscape of Barry County is dominated by a series of sandy-gravelly end moraines formed during the retreat of the Wisconsin glaciation more than 10,000 years ago. As a result, Barry County is extremely hilly, compared to the rest of southern Michigan. Numerous “kettle-hole” bogs and fens formed in depressions formed by ice blocks left behind by the receding glacier, both on the moraines and in the intervening areas of glacial outwash. Upland vegetation is characterized by oak forest and savanna, especially in the sandier end moraines and the glacial outwash in the southwest part of the county.
However, beech-maple forest dominates the richer soils of the northwest corner of the county, which is typical of an extensive, flat till plain of ground moraine that covers much of mid-central Michigan. The biogeography of Barry County tells a rich story, where plants of northern and southern affinities overlap. Here it is possible to find cedar (Thuja occidentalis) swamps, uplands dominated by white pine (Pinus strobus), along with other indicators of a more northern character, like gaywings (Polygala paucifolia). In this same area these northern habitats abut the prairie-savanna landscape that proliferates to the south and west, supporting prairie species such as leadplant (Amorpha canescens) and false boneset (Kuhnia eupatorioides).
Pierce Cedar Creek Institute
Pierce Cedar Creek Institute (PCCI) is a nature center, environmental education center, and biological field station located on 742 acres just nine miles south of Hastings, Michigan, in rural Barry County. With its mission to inspire appreciation and stewardship of our environment, PCCI maintains its property as a preserve under an easement granted by the Southwest Michigan Land Conservancy and works to provide educational programs and seasonal recreation for community members of all ages.
Visitors to PCCI are encouraged to enjoy the nine miles of hiking trails, as well as seasonal exhibits featuring the work of local artists and the Pierce clock collection on display in the Visitor Center. The Institute’s facilities include and auditorium, dining room, gift shop, classrooms, laboratories, and overnight accommodations.
Purpose: PCCI is a West Michigan biological field station that provides opportunities for research in the environmental sciences. It works with a consortium of 14 colleges and universities from Michigan and Indiana. Working with faculty from each of the consortium institutions, the Institute is able to provide funding for undergraduate research in the environmental sciences. It also welcomes environmental research projects from outside the consortium.
Trails: Eight nature trails, which are open from dawn to dusk, are available to wander and enjoy. The trails cross rolling glacial topography to a kettle-lake, fens, one of Michigan’s southernmost white cedar swamps, and various upland forests. One can come and enjoy snowshoeing and cross- country skiing when winter snow arrives. Restrooms and trail maps are available at the Visitor Center from dawn to dusk.
PCCI INFORMATION AND DIRECTIONS:
Address: 701 W. Cloverdale Road, Hastings, MI 49058 Front Desk Phone: 269-721-4190
Directions: Directions are on the PCCI webpage or you can GPS the address.
(Note: Any other questions can be addressed to Dave Wendling, President of the MBC, SW Chapter at 269-366- 8857 or email email@example.com.)
The MBC, Southwestern Chapter wishes to thank Michelle Skedgell, the Executive Director of PCCI, and her staff for making their facilities and grounds available to us and for all the help they have given us in preparing for this special event!
LODGING (Friday and or Saturday Nights)
At PCCI: Rooms are available for Hyla House and Prairie View. Hyla House has a fully stocked kitchen and includes an oven and range, full size refrigerator, coffee maker, etc. Prairie View does not have cooking amenities, but does have a mini fridge. They are both $75 per person per night for single occupancy and $55 per person per night for double occupancy. For reservations call Mel Bowman’s Office at PCCI 269-721-4291 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.In Hastings: There is a Holiday Inn Express in Hastings. For reservations call 877-859-5095. Address is 1099 W. M-43 Hwy, Hastings, MI 49058.
Saturday Box Lunch and Dinner Buffet: (Note: Advance Reservations and payment must be made by Monday, September 25th.)
To reserve a Box Lunch and/or a spot at the MBC Dinner
Buffet on Saturday: Box lunches are $13 and will be available at our table at noon in the Visitors Center. The dinner buffet ($16) will be served in the PCCI dining room at 5:00 PM. Your reservation and check must be received by September 25th. There will be no refunds after September 25.
Optional Sunday Brunch and Program
This is a PCCI program that you can participate in if you wish. There are two seating’s for the brunch in the dining room (11:30 AM and 1 PM). PCCI will hold seats for us at the 11:30 Brunch until September 15th. You can still sign up after that but a seat cannot be guaranteed. You can reserve your seat on the website starting around August 15th or call the front desk at 269-721-4190. Please mention that you are with the MBC. The brunch is $19.
Please contact Lynda Pelkey at 6909 Long Lake Rd, Berrien Springs, MI 49103 or call 269-471-3956 or email email@example.com. Make the check payable to: Michigan Botanical Club, Southwestern Chapter.
The PCCI program is free and runs from 12:15 to 1 PM in the auditorium. You need not attend a brunch to go to the program. Professor Jennifer Moore, a wildlife researcher from Grand Valley State University, will recount some of her escapades working with Anacondas, Tuatara, Boreal Toads,
Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnakes, and Galapagos Lava Lizards.
PROGRAM AND FIELD TRIPS
Saturday Evening Program (6:00 PM in the Auditorium)
Garrett Crow will present “In the Footsteps of 19th Century Naturalists: Exploration for Aquatic Plants on the Amazon and Rio Negro.”
There has been a long interest in the mysteries held by the great and diverse Amazon basin beginning with the first successful transit of the great river in 1542 by Francisco de Orellano. Follow in the footsteps of naturalists Alexander von Humboldt, Alfred Russel Wallace, Henry Bates, Richard Spruce, and Richard Evans Schultes as we explore along the Amazon River and The Rio Negro, with a special eye to the diversity of aquatic plants of this great river system. Fascinating plants native to the Amazon basin like Water Hyacinth, Bladderwort, Salvinia, Cashew, Pineapple, Cassava, as well as many orchids and the amazing Amazon Waterlily are highlighted. And how does the diversity of our aquatic plants stack up against the Amazon? You might just be surprised.
After earning a BA from Taylor University in 1965, Garrett completed a M.S. and Ph.D. at Michigan State University. He spent his entire career teaching botany 33 years at the University of New Hampshire, Director of the Herbarium, and last 6 years as Department Chair. With a particular interest in aquatic and wetland plants his field research has allowed him to travel widely both in temperate and neotropical regions— particularly Costa Rica and Bolivia focusing on diversity of aquatic plants.
Having returned to Michigan upon retirement, he stays active botanically as Adjunct Research Botanist at MSU Herbarium (wrote up the bladderworts (Utricularia) and butterworts (Pinguicula) for Flora North America). And as Visiting Scholar in Biology, Calvin College, he is partnering with Dave Warners and Brad Slaughter on a fascinating historical project: A Field-based Retrospective Assessment of Emma J. Cole’s Grand Rapids Flora After 100+ Years of “Progress,” rediscovering Emma Cole’s collecting sites and comparing the flora of her day with that of the Greater Grand Rapids Area today. As of January 2017, he became President of the Michigan Botanical Club.
Saturday Field Trips
Note: You do not need to register for the field trips ahead of time. Sign up for a field trip at the MBC table in the Visitors Center when you arrive at PCCI. We will stage all our field trips at the MBC table in the Visitors Center at the starting time of the trip. Directions and carpooling will be provided.
Saturday Morning (9 AM to 11:30AM)
UNUSUAL AND UNIQUE BARRY COUNTY HABITATS
(Part 1) Trip Leader: Dave Warners
The Little Grand Canyon. Visit this impressive ravine system that has been largely protected over time because of its extremely steep slopes. Vegetation will be assessed as we walk down from the top to the bottom of the ravine on a gentle diagonal slope. We will note the change in microclimates as we proceed. Native ferns, wildflowers and graminoids will be highlighted within this lovely hardwood forest.
Trip Leader Biography: Dave Warners has been at Calvin College for 20 years, teaching a variety of general biology, botany, and ecology classes, while doing research and scholarship in field botany, plant evolution, restoration ecology, and ethics of creation care. Dave has recently partnered with Garrett Crow and Brad Slaughter on a project in which they are doing a 100-year retrospective of Emma Cole’s Flora of the Grand Rapids Region. Since 2009 he has also been co- directing Plaster Creek Stewards, a college-based watershed group focused on returning health and beauty to the Plaster Creek Watershed.
Saturday Afternoon (1 PM to 4:30 PM):
UNUSUAL AND UNIQUE BARRY COUNTY HABITATS
(Part 2) Trip Leader: Dave Warners
Guernsey Lake Road Wetlands and Caves. Guernsey Lake Road rings the southern end of Fish Lake between S. Norris and Lindsey Roads. This is a very interesting landscape
that features calcareous wetlands, rolling topography, lush woods, and even some small reportedly unglaciated caves. We will spend time visiting all these areas and discuss various strategies the have been implemented in attempts to preserve these unusual habitats.
THE DIVERSE NATURAL COMMUNITIES AT PCCI
Trip Leader: Brad Slaughter
PCCI hosts a variety of natural communities typical of southern Michigan, in addition to a regionally uncommon example of a closed-canopy northern white-cedar swamp. We will walk the trails and explore a variety of upland and wetland habitats in search of late fall-blooming species and anything else that catches the eye. Bring footwear appropriate for wet, mucky ground for brief off-trail excursions.
Trip Leader Biography: Brad Slaughter joined Orbis Environmental Consulting in April 2017. He is a co-author of the 2014 “A Field Guide to the Natural Communities of Michigan”-and has also authored several papers published in The Michigan Botanist and dozens of technical reports on Michigan’s natural communities, rare plants, native flora, and other conservation-related topics. Brad also serves on the State of Michigan’s Rare Plant Technical Advisory Committee. He earned a B.A. in Biology from Albion college in 2002 and a M.S. in Botany from Miami University in 2005.
BARRY STATE GAME AREA--YANKEE SPRINGS RECREATION AREA
Trip Leader: Tyler Bassett
The Barry State Game Area and Yankee Springs Recreation Area support a diversity of prairie-like habitats: primarily black oak barrens with dry sand prairie openings, and prairie fens. We will walk through a barrens complex being restored primarily through fire, and look out for some of the fading asters and goldenrods of the season; and then proceed to take in the grandeur of one of the many prairie fen wetlands of this diverse landscape.
Trip Leader Biography: Tyler Bassett has a deep love of the plants and plant communities of southwest Michigan. He earned a B.S. in Biology from Western Michigan University in 2000, and a PhD in Ecology from Michigan State University in 2017. In between, he cultivated his skills as a botanist
and ecologist, informing conservation and management of natural habitats through work with the Kalamazoo Nature Center, Michigan Natural Features Inventory, and ecological restoration firm, Native Connections. He is currently a research associate at Michigan State University, studying the conservation and restoration of native plant communities, particularly prairies and oak savannas.
AN INTRODUCTION TO PIERCE CEDAR CREEK INSTITUTE
Trip/Program Leader: Corey Lucas
Join Corey Lucas for a relaxing afternoon program that highlights the many reasons Pierce Cedar Creek Institute’s property is a destination for nature enthusiasts of all kinds. It will be an opportunity to explore the unique habitats on the Institute’s property through a virtual tour presentation. Corey will also introduce ongoing and future restoration projects, and current invasive species management activities
that are occurring throughout the property. The program will conclude with a guided tour of the Institute’s demonstration gardens where native Michigan flora will be examined and discussed.
Trip/Program Leader Biography: Corey Lucas is the Stewardship Manager at Pierce Cedar Creek Institute. Prior to joining the Institute he worked for the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Wildlife Division in the deer hunter program, particularly helping to monitor for Chronic Wasting Disease. Corey, a Barry County native, received his bachelor’s degree in biology from Western Michigan University. Corey’s previous experience working for the DNR also includes positions in the Waterfowl and Wetland Program and the Eastern Box Turtle Research Project. Additionally, Corey spent 14 years as a civil engineer working on over 600 design projects. He also worked in the agriculture industry for six years. Along with extensive experience, Corey brings a passion for conservation and land management to the Institute.
Sunday Field Trip:
Sunday Morning (9 AM to 11:30 AM):
DRY SAND PRAIRIE RESTORATION FROM A RESTORATION ECOLOGIST’S POINT OF VIEW
Trip Leader: Tyler Bassett
We will take a tour through several of the habitats found at PCCI, with a focus on prairies. We will discuss ongoing efforts to plant upland prairie in former agricultural fields on site, and also visit a remnant dry sand prairie undergoing restoration. These prairie perspectives will be punctuated by walks through several forest types, including beech-maple, oak, and floodplain forests.