Huron Valley Chapter

HVC meetings are held on the 3rd Monday, September through April, excepting December, at 7:30 pm at the Matthaei Botanical Gardens auditorium, 1800 N. Dixboro Rd. Ann Arbor, MI 48105.  Meetings are free and open to the public. The Garden charges a nominal fee for parking until 8:00 pm.

Program descriptions for 2018- 2019 are below.

Field trips are mainly in the growing season, but also occasionally held during winter season. 

Do you wish to join the Huron Valley Chapter of the Michigan Botanical Club? Click here to access the membership form.

Huron Valley Chapter  2018 Contacts & Officers

We are always looking for people interested in helping the chapter. If you would like to help with something, please contact one of us!

President Neal Billetdeaux Programs Robert Ayotte (734) 718-6114
Vice President Robert Ayotte (734) 718-6114 Publications Sarah Nooden (734) 663-5667
Secretary Amanda Klain Nominations Irene Eiseman (734) 475-9654
Treasurer Toni Spears (734) 424-2530   Sarah Nooden
Director at Large Lynn Kirkpatrick   Joanne Cantoni
Director at LargeSheila Bourgoin Facilities Ken Shaw
Director at Large Larry Noodén (734) 663-5667 Field Trips Bill Brodovich
Immediate Past President Anton Reznicek (734) 764-5544 Artist Abraham Cone

Biology on Tap is Back!

Tuesday, 10/15/2019 7:30 PM


Conor O’Neill’s Irish Pub

318 S Main St, Ann Arbor, MI 48104

Come enjoy two mini-presentations by biology researchers from the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti area. Drinks and food available for purchase. All are welcome!Plus Trivia and Prizes!

Is the green stuff in the Great Lakes good or bad?The answer is yes!


James Pauer
James will focus on the role of algae in Great Lakes ecosystems, and address human induced problems that arise when the number and diversity of algal species are altered. James received his PhD in Environmental Engineering from Michigan Tech University. Although he is speaking as a private citizen, and fan of our “inland seas”, James works for the US Environmental Protection Agency as an expert on algal problems in the Great Lakes.

The Hidden Owls of Our Everyday Life

Jamie Platt
No other animal is as embedded in American culture as Owls; yet no other animal has taken such care to conceal its presence. Jamie has a degree in Zoology from the Harvard of the Upper Peninsula – Northern Michigan University. He is the founder of the Hells Birders birding group and has been teaching and lecturing on Ornithology topics for over a decade.

Biology on Tap is a speaker series sponsored by the Huron Valley Chapter of the Michigan Botanical Club

2019 Field Trips

Fall Woodies at Nan Weston

Saturday, October 26, 2019. 11:00-1:00 pm

Trip Leaders: Robert Ayotte and Neal Billetdeaux

The variety of plant communities at Nan Weston Nature Preserve at Sharon Hollow reflects the amazing underlying geological diversity of the area.  Robert and Neal will discuss the ecology of the area and fall is the best time of year to view the distinctive vegetative characteristics of woody plants.  This trip will focus on trees and shrubs of rich mesic and lowland woods.  Wear sturdy walking shoes and dress for the weather. There is a small parking lot and you can also park on the south side of Easudes Road, between the preserve sign and Jacob Road. Please be sure not to block any of the preserve neighbors’ driveways.  These coordinates in your browser will take you right there: 42.179992,-84.110292

Google Maps:

You can also find directions at the link below:

Fall 2019/Winter 2020 Programs

 All MBC-HVC programs are held at Matthaei Botanical Gardens and start with a short business meeting at 7:30 pm. The Garden charges a nominal fee for parking until 8:00 pm.  They are preceded by “Dinner with the Speaker” which commences at 5:45 at Rappourt Brew and Chew at 2721 Plymouth Rd, Ann Arbor.

Monday 16 September:

Discover our Underwater Forests! Michigan's Aquatic Plants – Jo Latimore

We'll explore the variety of submerged and floating native plants found in Michigan's lakes and rivers, discuss their ecology, and learn how to identify the invasive plants that are established here or knocking at Michigan's door. 

Dr. Jo Latimore is an Aquatic Ecologist and Outreach Specialist in the Department of Fisheries and Wildlife at Michigan State University. Her recent work focuses on volunteer monitoring of Michigan's lakes and streams, community-based approaches to watershed management, water resource leadership development, and science communication, with an emphasis on aquatic invasive species.

Dr. Latimore provides technical support to the volunteer-driven MiCorps Cooperative Lakes Monitoring Program, including leading the Exotic Aquatic Plant Watch and Aquatic Plant Identification and Mapping programs. She is also the Director of the Michigan Lake and Stream Leaders Institute and facilitator of the Michigan Inland Lakes Partnership. 

She has a bachelor’s degree in biology from Albion College, a master’s degree in biological sciences from the University of Notre Dame, and a doctorate in fisheries and wildlife from Michigan State University.

She began her career as a watershed ecologist at the Huron River Watershed Council in Ann Arbor before joining the faculty at MSU.

Monday 21 October:

Eyes on the Forest: What you can do to help prevent new forest pest invasions – Georgia Peterson

Exotic invasive pests and diseases continue to put pressure on Michigan’s forest health. These invaders are capable of great ecological, social and economic harm for private landowners, municipalities, resource management agencies, and plant-based industries across the state. Early detection of new invaders is critical for minimizing or mitigating damage, and to prevent their continued spread. Resource professionals depend on informed and aware citizens to help spot early invasions of these pests and diseases. This presentation will help citizen scientists become more adept at identifying the warning signs of potential new invaders.

Georgia Peterson has served as a Natural Resource Extension Specialist at Michigan State University for the past 19 years. She specializes in sharing research-based information about forests and forestry with landowners and other Michigan citizenry. She also provides assistance to natural resource professionals on public input processes, conflict management and strategic planning activities. In her spare time, Georgia enjoys biking, camping and international travel.

Monday 18 November:

Big weeds and tiny microbes:  How do microbes surrounding Phragmites australis influence invasiveness? – Wesley Bickford

The non-native Phragmites australis is one of the most ubiquitous wetland invaders in North America. With its tall stature, high growth rate, and dense root and rhizome system, Phragmites makes life difficult for surrounding native plants, often forming dense monocultures. A native form for Phragmites australis (Phragmites australis subs. americanus) also exists in many regions of the US, including the Great Lakes, but does not display invasive properties like its non-native relative. So what makes non-native Phragmites so adept at colonization and expansion?

We think microbes may have something to do with it. The microbes that plants associate with span a spectrum from beneficial to antagonistic. If some plants associate with relatively more beneficial microbes than antagonistic, those plants may have performance advantages.

Our research explores (1) whether Phragmites lineage (native vs. non-native) predicts the soil and root-associated microbial communities at a given site, (2) whether Phragmites performance is determined by the community of microbes present in the soil, and (3) whether experimental microbial manipulations can affect Phragmites’ invasiveness.

Early results indicate that microbial communities do not distinguish between native and non-native lineages of Phragmites in Great Lakes field populations. However, experiments suggest that Phragmites lineages may differ in their response to those microbial communities. Additionally, we have targeted portions of the microbial community to identify complex interactions between bacteria and fungi that may play an important role in the performance of Phragmites. These results are revealing many new aspects of Phragmites invasion dynamics and may also open up new management opportunities for targeted control of non-native Phragmites through its microbial community. 

Wes Bickford is a PhD candidate in the Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Michigan. Wes is interested in plant-microbial interactions, specifically in how microbes influence invasion properties. Wes’ research combines field sampling and greenhouse experiments with advanced molecular techniques to identify composition, abundance, and function of microbial communities and how they affect plant performance. Wes is also an Ecologist at the US Geological Survey - Great Lakes Science Center in Ann Arbor where he studies coastal ecosystems and has focused on Phragmites research since 2013.

Jan 20: Ecological Classification of the Forested River Floodplains of Shiawassee National Wildlife Refuge

Douglas Putt

Description: Classifying Shiawassee NWR’s forest ecosystems using a hierarchical method that focuses on disturbance and geoecology. How it was conducted, what we learned, and how it is being used by managers today.

Doug is an avid outdoorsman with a passion for conservation and restoration. Having recently graduated from Wayne State University with an M.S. focusing in landscape and forest ecology, Doug is on the hunt for his next career adventure. Primarily, Doug is seeking opportunities to maintain, restore, and regenerate the forest ecosystems of our state and federal public lands.

Feb 17: "White-tailed deer and Michigan Plant Communities: Two Decades of Observations and Reflections"

Jacqueline Corteau

This presentation will offer a brief overview of the history and role of white-tailed deer in Michigan ecosystems, and will explore deer impacts on Michigan plants and plant communities. Observations and reflections are based on two decades of monitoring white-tailed deer herbivory research in southeast Michigan.

Jacqueline Courteau is a plant ecologist and ecological consultant who has researched and monitored deer impacts in southeast Michigan for park systems including Ann Arbor, Washtenaw County, Huron-Clinton Metroparks, and others. She led development of the Huron River Watershed Council's field assessment for their Bioreserve project, and completed a landscape forest stewardship plan for Washtenaw County for Michigan DNR. She has taught field ecology and other classes at UM and EMU and now runs her own consulting business, NatureWrite LLC.

Mar 16: Identifying Invasive Plants

Don Drife

Description: Don Drife will explain how to identify invasive plant species in Michigan and how to distinguish them from similar native species

Don Drife has been studying native vegetation in Michigan for over 45 years, and is a longtime member of the Michigan Botanical Club and a life member of the Michigan Audubon Society. He blogs as the MichiganNatureGuy, and presents programs about the natural world for local nature groups.

April 20: Modern Systematics and Illuminating Hidden Relationships of Plants

Tony Reznicek

Description: This will be a review and update of the impact on Michigan Flora (and plant classification generally) of recent work in molecular systematics. (Jointly with Matthaei Botanical Gardens Herb Study Group).

Tony is curator of vascular plants at the University of Michigan Herbarium. His research focuses on the systematics and evolution of sedges (especially Carex), the flora and biogeography of the Great Lakes region, and botanical history in the Great Lakes region. He serves as the chair of the State Rare Plant Technical Advisory Committee, teaches at the University of Michigan Field Station, and is an administrator for “Michigan Flora”:

Prior 2018 - 2019 Meetings/Trips

Biology on Tap: Spring has Sprung!: Time to talk about ephemeral plants, urban bees, and sexy salamanders! Tuesday, May 7, 7:30pm

bio on tap.jpg

CORNER BREWERY, 720 Norris St, Ypsilanti, MI 48198Come enjoy 3 mini-presentations by biology researchers from the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti area. Drinks and food available for purchase. All are welcome.

  • Bob Smith (Michigan Botanical Club: Huron Valley Chapter) Spring Ephemerals: The peculiar life habit of some woodland plants

  • Paul Glaum (UM Ecology and Evolutionary Biology) Big City Bees: How wild bees respond to an urbanizing landscape

  • Katy Greenwald (EMU Biology), Michigan's amazing "gene thieves": Evolution and ecology of unisexual (all female) Ambystoma salamanders

Come enjoy 3 mini-presentations by biology researchers from the Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti area. Drinks and food available for purchase. All are welcome.

  • Bob Smith (Michigan Botanical Club: Huron Valley Chapter) Spring Ephemerals: The peculiar life habit of some woodland plants

  • Paul Glaum (UM Ecology and Evolutionary Biology) Big City Bees: How wild bees respond to an urbanizing landscape

  • Katy Greenwald (EMU Biology), Michigan's amazing "gene thieves": Evolution and ecology of unisexual (all female) Ambystoma salamanders

Saturday 20 April: Spring Botany and Horner’s Woods Workday - Sylvia Taylor, leader 9:00 am – 12:00 noon.

Join Sylvia and mentor Matthaei volunteers and students to scout for the invasive garlic mustard and help with light trail maintenance at Horner Woods, a wildflower sanctuary North of Matthaei Botanical Gardens. Volunteers may enjoy seeing large patches of a lovely native wildflower, Twinleaf, (Jeffersonia diphylla) which will be in peak bloom in late April. Please dress for physical, outdoor work. Sturdy closed-toe shoes are required. We provide tools and orientation. Minors are welcome with permission forms; those under 16 must be accompanied by a parent/guardian.

There may be 30 student volunteers total from UM HKN, UM Alpha Phi Omega, UM Circle K, UM Beta Alpha Rho Pre-Law Society.  Student Caretakers assigned to co-lead the workday are Lexi & Sarah.

Meet in the west lobby at Matthaei Botanical Gardens 1800 N. Dixboro Rd. to caravan to Horner Woods. Leader: Sylvia Taylor <>

Sunday, April 21, 2:00 p.m. Spring Ephemerals in LeFurge Woods (Note change in day and time)

This will be a reprise of last year’s trip, but hopefully without last year’s freezing rain. LeFurge Woods is amazingly rich in wildflowers and never disappoints. The parking area is on the east side of Prospect Road, 0.8 miles north of Geddes Road, in Superior Twp. (north of Ypsilanti). Easy walking. Trip leader: Bill Brodovich. < >

Saturday, May 25, at 10 AM Shanghai Prairie & Fen

Bill Brodovich < > will lead a trip to Shanghai Prairie. This is a well-known botanical hotspot on the south side of the Huron River, in Ypsilanti Township just north of the St. Joseph Hospital campus. (The prairie is owned by St. Joe.) We’ll meet at a small parking area on the north side of McCaulay Drive. Access it by turning north from East Huron River Drive onto McCauley Drive (the main entry to St. Joseph Hospital) and follow McCauley north and northeast around the curve for about ½ mile. Then turn left and you’ll see a daycare center to your right, a transformer station straight ahead, and our parking area to the left. The coordinates of the parking area are 42˚ 16’ 08” N, 83˚ 39’ 09” W. From the parking area, we’ll take a short walk to the top of the wooded bluff above the river, and then walk down a steep flight of stairs to the valley bottom. (Some might want to bring their hiking sticks). With all the rain we’ve had this spring, waterproof boots would be a good idea too. Besides the prairie flora, we’ll see some springs and a nice little fen at the foot of the steep slope. We’ll also see some distinctive mosses, a liverwort, a tiny lycopod, and some lichens. On a historical note, we’ll see the grade of Ann Arbor’s first (1839) railroad. (The present railroad lies north of the river.)

Saturday, July 6, at 10 am Waterloo Bog

Bill Brodovich < > and Robert Ayotte will lead a trip to a black spruce bog in Waterloo State Recreation Area. Rubber boots are recommended (or at least a change of shoes and socks for those who prefer to cool their feet). We’ll meet at the DTE-sponsored parking area on the north side of Cassidy Lake Road, a little over a mile north of its junction with Waterloo Rd. (you’ll pass by the boys’ prison). The latitude and longitude of the parking area is 42° 21’ 58” N, 84° 05’ 18” W. From the parking area, it’s a short walk to the bog, and we won’t have to dodge any trail bikes on the way. In southern Michigan, spruce bogs are the last remaining relicts of the boreal forest that once covered this region shortly after the glaciers receded. It’s the coolest place we can visit on this holiday weekend.

A visit to the Waterloo SRA "Glenn Fen"

Saturday September 21, 2:00-4:00 pm

Rain date is September 29 (Sunday). If the field trip is postponed, it will be posted on the HVC webpage in the morning by 11:00.

A visit to the Waterloo SRA "Glenn Fen" led by Sheila Bourgoin

11001-11303 Glenn Rd, Grass Lake, MI 49240

42.312531, -84.209198

Meet at parking area on the southwest corner of Mt. Hope and Glenn Road. We will walk down the road about a third of a mile and enter the fen at the small parking area on Mt. Hope road, and walk in through the Pinckney Waterloo Trail. If mobility is a problem, there are two or three spaces in the parking area on Mt. Hope Road and we can carpool to there from the Glenn Road lot. We will walk about 1000 feet along the Pinckney Waterloo trail then across a grassy area into the fen.

Once we enter the fen, we will settle into a prime area of fen vegetation. Bring something waterproof to sit on. You are also invited to bring notebooks, cameras, drawing materials, binoculars, field guides and snacks to share as we will spend some time just sitting and enjoying the beautiful fen.

Waterproof footwear is recommended, but shoes that can get damp will also work. Most of the trip will be on easy level ground and there will be some optional exploration through wetter, uneven ground. 

About the location:

This area is know as the "Glenn Fen" and the "Mt. Hope Road Fen". It encompasses roughly a square mile of land, although we explore the central section with the greatest variety of fen indicators such as Genanopis Andrewseii, Solidago species, Cirsium muticum, Dasiphora fruticosa (shrubby cinquefoil). We will enjoy the color, learn diagnostic features of the Solidago species, identify the grasses and sedges of the area where we will rest and talk about the interaction of geology and ground water. For those with an interest in exploring, there is an area of tamaracks and pitcher plants near by (watch out for poison sumac), a wetter area with native phragmites and a small section of a drier prairie remnant. Plant lists from surveys of the fen will be available.

From Chelsea/Ann Arbor, take 94 West and travel 9 miles from the M52/I94 intersection to the Mount Hope Exit (Exit 150) and turn right onto Mt. Hope Road. Drive 2 miles north to Glenn Road. You will see a sign for the Waterloo Hunt Club on the corner. Turn right onto Glenn Road and the parking area is within 25 feet of the corner. 

Fall Botany at Leonard Preserve

Saturday, September 28, 2019.  11:00 – 1:00

Trip Leader:  Neal Billetdeaux

The 259-acre Leonard Preserve is the largest natural area in the County's system of NAPP preserves.   Its diverse landscape includes rolling hills, oak-hickory woods, wetlands, sedge meadows and prairie remnants and nearly one mile of winding River Raisin shoreline.  See the attached link for a map and directions.   This trip will focus on fall trees and shrubs as well as some of the late goldenrods and asters.   Wear sturdy shoes and dress for the weather. These coordinates in your browser will take you there: 42.1513, -84.0503

You can also find directions at the link below:

MONDAY, September 17, 2018: Glacial Geology of Michigan and Formation of the Great Lakes presented by Larry Bean, Michigan Department of Environmental Quality

In this program we will discuss how the geologic history of Michigan going back over 2 billion years influenced the movement of the glaciers 2 million to 10 thousand years ago.  We will identify how the glaciers sculpted the great lakes basins and upland areas and created the wide variety of deposits we see in Michigan.  In particular, we will review how glacial landforms, soils, and hydrological processes have influenced the spatial patterning of ecosystems and their characteristic flora.

10/15/2018: Factors Influencing the Distribution of Natural Communities in Michigan.  Michael Kost: Curator of Native Plants, Matthaei Botanical Gardens and Nichols Arboretum, University of Michigan

The natural communities of Michigan span the full range of environmental gradients from dry sand prairies to rich conifer swamps.  We will explore the factors that structure the distribution of this diverse assemblage of natural communities across the state. You’ll come away with a framework for better understanding the diversity of ecosystems we observe in nature and a renewed appreciation for the natural beauty of Michigan.

11/19/2018: Ecological Surveys of Southern Michigan: reflections on the importance of public land.  Jesse Lincoln: MSU-Ext Michigan Natural Features Inventory

Jesse Lincoln has been conducting vegetation surveys on public lands across southern Michigan for the past 8 years as an ecologist for the Michigan Natural Features Inventory.  His survey work reveals both the natural beauty and imperiled state of these large tracts of natural area.  Jesse will share with us his observations of these treasures, concerns for their future health, and the shared responsibility to care for our natural heritage.

Tuesday 4 December 2018, 10:00 am to 12:00 noon: Trek to Waterloo Black Spruce Forest. Black Spruce, a native evergreen conifer, is usually associated with northern bogs and boreal forest ecosystems; but there are a few remnant black spruce stands in southern Michigan.  The boreal forest biome, dominated by spruce and fir, migrated through southern Michigan, some 12,000 years BP, as the glaciers of the Pleistocene epoch retreated northward.  Black Spruce, tolerant of cold and wet conditions, found a home in acid bogs and other wet depressions.  It’s cones are semi-serotinous (requiring fire to open) and spruce forests are perpetuated by stand replacing fires.

Join naturalist Robert Ayotte on a trek through one of the few remnant spruce forests, in Waterloo State Recreation Area, to observe the landforms, soil, and site conditions that generated this ecosystem.  We’ll distinguish our two spruces, and learn to separate spruce, from firs and pines.  Finally, we’ll determine the long term prognosis for this forest. 

Meet at the parking area at the corner of Waterloo-Munith Rd and Parks Rd in Waterloo State Recreation area.  (13999 Waterloo-Munith Road). The area is relatively flat, with fairly dense underbrush. 

01/21/2019: The other New World Temperate vegetation Zone: Patagonia. Anton Reznicek: Curator, University of Michigan Herbarium.

While we are familiar with the temperate forests and grasslands in which we live in in the north, we don’t often think of the temperate forests and grasslands towards the other pole – the plants of temperate South America in the region of Argentina and Chile collectively known as Patagonia. There, the climate is very different because the continents narrow dramatically to the south, rather than expanding, as North America does towards the north, so the climate is strongly maritime influenced. Also, the high peaks of the Andes, besides having remarkable alpine vegetation, generate a strong rain shadow, resulting in sharp vegetation transitions and extensive grasslands, and even cold deserts. We will look at the forests and grasslands of much of the area, with a focus on the more important species, and some of the interesting habitats and remarkable plants. Note this program coincides with the HVC Potluck (6 pm – 9 pm).

Tony’s research at the University centers on the systematics and evolution of sedges (Cyperaceae), with a focus on the Great Lakes region as well as the neotropics, especially Mexico. He has a strong interest in the biogeography of the northeastern North American flora, concentrating on the Great Lakes region, including plant migration and colonization, origin and persistence of relict plant species and communities, wetland vegetation dynamics, especially of the Great Lakes shorelines, and the evolution of the endemic flora of the region. In addition, he is very active in the conservation of the Great Lakes region flora, with a focus on conservation strategies for the endemic and disjunct flora. His field work has been varied, including much of the US and Canada, including a number of trips to Alaska, many trips to Mexico, plus some trips to South America and China, always with a view to understanding the basic ecology and biogeography of the region, as well as the plants.

SPECIAL PRESENTATION - WEDNESDAY, 6 FEBRUARY: Rimrock, Playas, Petroglyphs & Pronghorns: Playa Lakes of the Hart Mountain and Sheldon Wildlife Refuges. Dennis Albert, PhD, Senior Research Faculty Horticulture Department, Oregon State University.

Dr. Albert will discuss the endemic flora of the Basin and Range playas of the Hart Mountain Antelope Refuge (Oregon) and the Sheldon Refuge (Nevada), with a focus on the smaller playas on the tops of the basalt rim rock. The flora changes dramatically from low water to dry water years, and he will be showing plants characteristic of both conditions. He will also discuss the zones that occur along the edges and in the middle of the playas. Dennis Albert is a Research Professor in the Horticulture Department of Oregon State University, where his research has focused on wetland restoration and native plant marketing. He has current research projects focused on Great-Lakes-wide coastal wetlands inventories and harvest of invasive wetland plants for biogas production and phosphorus capture and reuse. He and his graduate students conduct research on Oregon’s estuaries, and in 2016 and 2017 conducted inventories of the vegetation of the playas of Hart Mountain Antelope Refuge in southeastern Oregon and Sheldon Wildlife Refuge in northern Nevada.

Dr. Albert teaches summer field courses in Forest Ecology and Great Lakes coastal wetlands at the University of Michigan’s Biological Station in northern Michigan.

02/18/2019: The Complex Environmental Web of Northern Lower Michigan: Climate, Soils, Forests. Randy Schaetzl: Michigan State University Department of Geology.

Soils form and evolve in close conjunction with climate and plant communities. Nowhere is this interplay more interesting or complex than in the northern Lower Peninsula of Michigan. In this talk, Dr. Randall Schaetzl, of Michigan State University, will discuss this complex web. Why do soils vary so greatly across the Lower Peninsula? When did this divergence start to occur? And how do the snow-belts act to influence all of this? If you like maps, soils, or plants, this talk is for you.

Bio: Randy has been Professor of Geography/Geology at MSU since 1987. His interests span the field of physical geography, but with a focus on soils, geomorphology, and to a lesser extent, vegetation systems. He is a firm believer in the value of fieldwork in physical geography, and is in the field for much of each summer season. His work is highly spatial and usually involves GIS data, analyses, applications and approaches, and many of the resultant research products are new and innovative maps. Randy lives in Okemos with his wife and three daughters, where they tend to their suburban farm and garden. Randy very much enjoys working with students on research projects, both as their direct graduate advisor and in teacher-classroom situations.

03/18/2019: Creating Near Native Habitats in Built Environments. Matt Demmon. Plantwise: Director of Native Landscapes Division

It is tempting to try to duplicate the function of natural wetlands, woodlands and other native habitats using native plants in our built environment. These types of projects need to be aesthetically pleasing, reasonably priced, and relatively easy to maintain. What's the best way to do this when working in an environment that has been changed beyond recognition in a climate that is changing in ways we don't understand? We will discuss ways of thinking about creating plant communities and how planting design and new models of landscape maintenance can help us create resilient, beautiful plantings that have the best chance of fulfilling the stormwater and ecosystem functions we are trying to create.

Matt Demmon has been working outdoors since 2004. His experience includes organic farming; landscape design, installation and maintenance; native plant propagation; prescribed fire; invasive plant control; management planning; growing mushrooms; and botany. He is currently getting his own company, Feral Flora, LLC off the ground. Matt is planning to grow and sell plants as well as install and maintain landscapes, but his current main focus is in designing and installing ecologically sustainable landscapes that nourish wildlife and humans both.

04/15: Spring Flora with Bob and Bob

Join Bob Smith and Robert Ayotte for a photographic and illustrated review of common spring flora of southern Michigan. Bob will display his fine array of photographs, and describe techniques and locations, while Robert will provide an illustrated review of associated plant family characteristics. The program is intended to be colorful, informative, and a preview of upcoming spring splendor.

Bio: Bob Smith is an expert photographer, botanist, and naturalist, while Robert is a gradual student in Forest Ecology, and formerly an ecologist for the USDA Forest Service, and Michigan Natural Features Inventory.

Ecology and Woody plants of the Reichert Nature Preserve

Saturday, October 20, 10:00-12:00

Trip Leader: Neal Billetdeaux

The Reichert Nature Preserve is a 92-acre parcel north of Portage Lake. The variety of plant communities at Reichert reflects the site’s amazing underlying geological diversity.  We will discuss the ecology and management of the area and this is the best time of year to view the distinctive vegetative characteristics of woody plants.  This trip will focus on trees and shrubs from dry oak-hickory woods to a rich tamarack swamp.  It is also a great opportunity to view some of woodland goldenrods, asters and ferns. This trip will mostly be on trails and boardwalks.

From Dexter, take Dexter-Pinckney Road north to west on Tiplady Road.  A gravel drive/parking lot is on the south side of Tiplady Road at the Legacy Land Conservancy sign. 

Fall Botany Walk - Hudson Mills Metropark

Sunday, Sept. 23 at 2:00 – 4:00 p.m.

Leaders are Ron Gamble and Faye Stoner.

We will walk at a leisurely pace, mostly on asphalt trail, and actually not travel very far. We will look at plants found just off the trail, but we will also walk a bit away from the trail at times to see things closer to the Huron River. There are vines we will see, including Wild Yam, Moonseed, and our native Lonicera vine; we will look at several shrubs including Euonymus atropurpureus (our native Euonymous), Hazelnut, Witchhazel, and Bladdernut; and we will look at some fall wildflowers including various asters.

Meet in River Grove parking lot. (At tollbooth, turn right, and continue straight ahead to parking lot)

09/17/2018: Glacial Geology of Michigan and Formation of the Great Lakes.  Larry Bean: Michigan Department of Environmental Quality

Glacial Geology of Michigan and Formation of the Great Lakes. Larry Bean: Michigan Department of Environmental Quality

In this program we will discuss how the geologic history of Michigan going back over 2 billion years influenced the movement of the glaciers 2 million to 10 thousand years ago. We will identify how the glaciers sculpted the great lakes basins and upland areas and created the wide variety of deposits we see in Michigan. In particular, we will review how glacial landforms, soils, and hydrological processes have influenced the spatial patterning of ecosystems and their characteristic flora.

Larry received a BS degree and MS degree in Geology from Wayne State University graduating in 1987. He has been with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Department of Environmental Quality since 1988. He currently works as the Jackson and Lansing District Supervisor in the Waste Management and Radiological Protection Division of the Department of Environmental Quality. He was a district geologist for the Southeast Michigan and Jackson districts for 21 years. He has been serving as the district supervisor for 9 years. He taught geology classes at UM-Dearborn and EMU as an adjunct lecturer. The classes he taught included glacial geology and geomorphology.

Learn to measure a big tree.

This is an opportunity to meet the co-ordinator of the MBC Big Tree Program. We will meet on September 8th at 10:00 am at the Hamburg Township Library, (10411 Merrill Rd, Whitmore Lake, MI 48189) and Ted Reuschel will demonstrate how to measure a Big Tree. If you are interested in becoming an official tree measurer for the program, you can talk to Ted about that too. Please send an email to Sheila to confirm. ( or send a text to 734-972-1428.

The Hunt for Hay-Scented Fern (Dennstaedtia punctilobula)

Saturday 11 August  9:00 to 12:00 pm

There is only one known location for hay-scented fern in the entire state of Michigan, and it is located in Waterloo Recreation Area in Jackson County.  Our mission is to determine weather, or not, the clone is still present , alive, and thriving.  We’ll need several sharp-eyed and intrepid fern hunters who are determined to add this species to their pteridolist.  Associated landscape features and precise coordinates unknown.

This fern is common in Southern Ontario, New York, and New England – but considered threatened in Michigan.  The Michigan colony is obviously far removed from any other distribution. The vernacular name, hay-scented refers to the fronds, which are aromatic when bruised and emit a strong hay or alfalfa-like oder that is particularly noticeable in senescing or drying plants.  It was not found in Michigan until 1954; then it was not seen again until its recent discovery, in 2006, by MNFI’s John Fody. 

The trek will include pertinent discussions regarding any other plants that we might encounter.  Plant list unknown.

Meet at Zou Zou’s Café at 101 North Main Street Chelsea, MI 48118 at 9:00 am for coffee and a briefing.   We’ll carpool from Zou Zou’s.  Equipment: should you accept the mission, be ready for anything! There are a lot of known unknowns here, and unknown unknowns.  Failure is not an option!

July 1, 2018, 10:00 – 12:00 PM,  Lower Huron Metropark

River floodplains around the world are alike in several respects. The dominant ecological factor which influences vegetation is flooding.  As a result of high water in the spring, species are found in zones of varying conditions extending out laterally from the river.  In northern climates, rivers modify the local climate making it warmer and more humid in the summer and cooler in the spring than surrounding upland areas.  Some species with typically more southern ranges are found to extend farther north along river corridors.  Join Robert Ayotte and Neal Billetdeaux to explore the variety of habitats along the Huron River, discuss the ecological adaptations of floodplain species and observe some plants that are uncommon in southern Michigan.  Stay tuned for location and carpool options.

We will meet at 10:00 at the Sycamore Bend picnic shelter which is on the east side of the road approximately 2.4 miles south of the Huron River Drive entrance.  There is a $10 entry fee per vehicle if you do not have a yearly vehicle pass and be sure to bring bug dope.  This will be around a 1 mile walk on a dirt path possibly followed by an opportunity to visit other areas.

For those in Ann Arbor and points west who are interested in carpooling, I suggest meeting at the MDOT Park & Ride in the southwest quadrant of the Ann Arbor-Saline Road/I-94 interchange no later than 9:30.  It is about 20 minutes from there to Sycamore Bend.  Take I-94 east to Haggerty Road south.  The entrance is at the intersection of Haggerty and Huron River Drive.

Saturday, May 12, at 10 AM,  Bill Brodovich will lead a trip to the LeFurge Woods Preserve in Superior Township (Washtenaw County). The site has rolling hills with mature woodland. There is also a large wetland. The entrance is on the east side of Prospect Road, ¾ mile north of Geddes (just north of a big wetland on the west side of Prospect).

Saturday, May 19, at 10 AM, Bill Brodovich will lead a trip to the Cherry Hill Preserve near Dixboro. This site contains nice areas of mature woodland and some grassland. The entrance is on Cherry Hill Road, ¾ mile east of its junction with Gale Road. From village of Dixboro, turn south onto Cherry Hill at the general store. Go 0.6 mile, and bear left where Cherry Hill meets Gale Road. Go east on Cherry Hill for another ¾ mile. The entrance is on the north side of the road.

Saturday, June 2 from 10:00-12:30,  Dr. Tony Reznicek will lead a field trip  at the Nan Weston Nature Preserve near Sharon Hollow. His title for the trip is “Just How Many Species of Sedges are in the Woods?” This will be great opportunity to learn more about sedges from our foremost sedge authority—and in a beautiful setting. Don’t miss it. Here is Dr. Reznicek’s “trailer” for the trip:  "Most grass like plants in rich forests are in fact sedges, and to survive in this setting, species adopt various strategies for pollination (remember sedges are mostly wind pollinated), growth, and reproduction in a low light and low wind environment. We'll see many of the strategies on display along the trail at the Nan Weston Preserve at Sharon Hollow. Of course, there may be other interesting plants there as well."

We’ll mostly be walking on the boardwalk, but waterproof footwear is advisable.

The Nan Weston Preserve is located several miles south of Chelsea. If you use Google Maps, the GPS coordinates are: 42.1862083°, -084.1106417°. Preserve parking is available east of where Jacob Road ends at Easudes Road northwest of Sharon Hollow.

Directions from Chelsea, MI:

At the junction of I-94 and M-52 in Chelsea, MI, take M-52 south for 7.4 miles to Pleasant Lake Road.

Turn west on Pleasant Lake Road and follow it for 3.2 miles to Sharon Hollow Road.

Turn west, then north on Sharon Hollow Road, and follow it to Easudes Road.

Turn west and travel 0.9 miles on Easudes Road. You will see the preserve sign on the south side of the road. A small parking lot is available at the trailhead.

Saturday April 28, 2018:  Miller Woods, Plymouth Township - Lynn Kirkpatrick 9:00 am – 12:00 noon

Embrace early spring at this rich preserve! Hike an easy loop trail through 10 acres of old growth Beech-Sugar Maple forest. In addition to these majestic trees we will see Basswood (Tilia americana), Bitternut Hickory (Carya cordiformis), Shagbark Hickory (Carya ovata), blooming Pawpaw (Asimina triloba), Spicebush (Lindera benzoin), Red Elderberry (Sambucus racemosa), and wildflowers like Harbinger-of-Spring (Eriginia bulbosa), Spring-beauty (Claytonia virginica), Giant Blue Cohosh (Caulophyllum giganteum), Squirrel-corn (Dicentracanadensis), Dutchman’s-breeches (Dicentra cucullaria), Solomon-seal (Polygonatum biflorum), Wood anemone (Anemone quinquefolia), Jack-in-the-pulpit (Arisaema triphyllum) along with emerging ferns and Beech-drops (Epifagus virginiana).  Hike will be led by Michigan Botanical Club member Lynn Kirkpatrick, a botanist who was introduced to the beautiful Miller Woods by Ellen Weatherbee many years ago. It is a treasure to see in the spring.  Visit the website for more information.

Saturday 21 April: Spring Botany and Horner’s Woods Workday I - Sylvia Taylor 9:00 am - 12 noon (Note time change from afternoon to morning)

Join Sylvia and mentor Matthaei  volunteers to scout for the invasive garlic mustard and help with light trail maintenance at Horner Woods, a wildflower sanctuary N of Matthaei Botanical Gardens. Volunteers will also enjoy seeing large patches of a lovely native wildflower, Twinleaf, which will be in peak bloom in late April. Please dress for physical, outdoor work. Sturdy closed-toe shoes are required. We provide tools and orientation. Minors are welcome with permission forms; those under 16 must be accompanied by a parent/guardian. Meet in the west lobby at Matthaei Botanical Gardens 1800 N. Dixboro Rd. to caravan to Horner Woods. Questions? Contact Sylvia Taylor at .

Saturday 17 March: Conifers of Nichol's Arboretum - Robert Ayotte 10:00 am to 1:00 pm Nichol's Arboretum displays conifers native to Michigan, North America, Asia, and more. This hike will focus onT conifer biology, ecology, and phytogeography. Coneheads should meet at the James Reader Jr. Urban Environmental Center on Washington Heights. We'll discuss and admire a broad array of gymnosperms in a loop covering about 2 miles, with some steep hills. Wear your yak trax if it is icey. ree parking is available at 1) the Markley Hall Parking Lot, 2) adjacent to the UM Hospital Helicopter pad, and 3) on the street along Washington Heights.

Saturday, February 24, 10 a.m. – Herbarium Tour with Tony Reznicek, curator, UM Herbarium

Herbaria are the foundation for all work on plant systematics, biogeography, and floristics, and the University of Michigan Herbarium, one of the largest in the western Hemisphere, is a major international resource. Our Michigan Botanical Club tour will focus on the herbarium collections as they relate to Michigan and the Great Lakes region most specifically. We will look at our earliest documentation of the flora, from the early 1800’s, the huge impact that the First Geological Survey of Michigan (1837-1840) had on our knowledge of the flora, and we will see some examples of collections from major collectors and how they are all tied together into a modern flora. Finally, modern digital technology is transforming the way we think about data and collections, and we will look at some modern projects involving digitization of collections (e.g. Michigan Flora online –; We will close out with a brief look at the Library, and how it relates to the collections. Registration: Because of limited space, please register with Robert Ayotte, <> or call 734-718-6114

Saturday 4 November 2017, 9 a.m.- 12:00 noon   Workday and Botanizing at Horner Woods Special  

Trip leader: Dr. Sylvia Taylor

We have an unusual opportunity to collaborate with Professor John Benedict's University of Michigan 's ENV201 class. These students are assigned to learn about stewardship projects through local participation. This fall's Horner woods work day is for clearing woody invasives from the area where a new entrance trail is being planned through the Pelton homestead. It should be a fine learning opportunity for the class.  Since we hope to include small group touring of Horner Woods, and there may be as many as 20 students, we need a good turn out of members who enjoy engaging with students.

Meet in the Matthaei Botanical Garden's west lobby

Saturday 4 November – 1:00 to 4:00 PM,  Fall Woodies of SMLC LeFurge Preserve  (Note that this is a new time. It was previously posted as a morning field trip.)         Field Trip Leaders Neal Billetdeaux and Robert Ayotte

During some of our past woody walks, we have explored glacial landscape features such as terminal moraines, kames, eskers and outwash.  Our trip to LeFurge Woods will allow us to experience another ice contact feature know as ground moraine.  Join with Robert Ayotte and Neal Billetdeaux in a discussion of our glacial landscape with a focus on ground moraine along with features of the adjacent glacial lake plain, perhaps a topic of a future trip.  This will be an excellent time of year to view distinctive characteristics of several oak and maple species along with an introduction to “soil turbulence”.   This will be an approximately one mile hike, most likely at a glacial pace, along preserve trails. 

Please park on the north side of Vreeland Road east of Prospect Rd. in the vicinity of the Southeast Michigan Land Conservancy office.  Vreeland is a narrow dirt road with little traffic but please take care to leave room for others to pass.

Participants limited to 24; please RSVP to Robert at

Prior 2017 - 2018 Meetings

MONDAY, April 16, 2018 - Bringing Conservation to Cities presented by Dr. John Hartig, Author and Retired Manager for the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge.

Bringing Conservation to Cities is the story of how innovative public-private partnerships are making nature part of everyday urban life in the automobile capitals of the U.S. and Canada in an effort to inspire and develop the next generation of conservationists in urban areas because that is now where 80% of U.S. and Canadian citizens live. Bringing Conservation to Cities presents insights on: the history of the refuge; habitat restoration efforts using innovative partnerships; trans-boundary conservation; reconnecting people to the river through compelling citizen science and outdoor recreation; and practical lessons learned.

MONDAY, March 19, 2018 – Wildflower Wanderings: Exploring the Great Lakes Region's Botanical Beauty by Dan Sparks-Jackson, Amateur Nature Photographer.

The talk will explore the seasonal progression of wildflowers found blooming in our region's woods, fens, bogs, and grasslands.  The presenter will share his personal experiences tiptoeing around such special habitats.

February 19 - Pesticides and Pollinators presented by Meghan Milbreath, Coordinator, Michigan Pollinator Initiative, MSU Department of Entomology.  Honey bees are an important part of Michigan agriculture, while our natural lands are supported by over 450 species of native bees, and thousands of other pollinators.  The challenges of pollinators have recently been featured in the media, including the role of pesticides.  We will discuss the importance of pollinators, the effects of pesticides (including neonicitinoids), the strength of the science, and what is being done to help.  

January 21, 2018 –  “Canopy Walk to Boomslang - A Botanical Garden Sampler from the U.S.A., Europe and South Africa” - Lynn Kirkpatrick, Program Assistant at Matthaei Botanical Gardens. Visit several botanical gardens around the world and embrace their very different personalities. One botanical garden is over 470 years old! Along the way, interesting plants and spectacular views will be highlighted. Lynn has been fortunate enough to have visited each of the gardens and will take you on an educational and beautiful photo journey.

No December Meeting

MONDAY, November 20, 2017 - What, My Herbicide Did That?! - David Roberts, PhD, Senior Academic Specialist at Michigan State University. Trees, shrubs and other landscape plants are unintentionally harmed at an alarming rate by today's herbicides when applied by homeowner and professional alike. Come learn about these new products so that you can avoid costly, lethal errors. 

MONDAY, October 16, 2017 - Restoring Michigan Prairies: Measuring Success - Dr. Emily Grman, Assistant Professor of Biology, Eastern Michigan University. Restoring prairies in Michigan is a common practice, but philosophical and practical obstacles to success remain. In this talk, we will explore the variety of prairie communities in southwest Michigan and some strategies for guiding plant community development. 

MONDAY, September 18, 2017 – Endangered & Invasive Plant Species -  Jane Kramer, Fine Art Photographer

For her project "Foreshadowing - Endangered & Threatened Plant Species", Jane photographs the shadows of endangered plant species and transfers the images onto paper made from the invasive plant species that threaten them. Jane will be talking about the process of collecting invasive plant species, turning plant biomass into pulp and paper, and photographing the shadows of endangered plant species. The presentation will also include a demo of an alcohol gel transfer onto invasive plant species paper.


Prior 2016- 2017 Meetings/Trips

Monday July 10, 2017 at 7:00p.m. at Matthaei Botanical Garden.                                                                               The Milkweed Community - Don Drife                                                                                                                                      Special Event HVC co-sponsored with Herb Study Group

Everyone knows about the Monarch Butterfly and its needs for milkweed plants to survive. But many other insects and some non-insects also make their home in the milkweed community. Join naturalist and photographer Don Drife as he presents a program on the many organisms, which feed on and among the different species of milkweeds, and those that make passing visits.


Native North American Indigenous people used many plants as medicines; roughly 10% of the some 26,000 species found north of the Rio Grande. The question I'll address here is, why did they pick this 10% rather than some other 10%.  Among other things, we will learn why it is that so many plants found in ornamental flower gardens are plants which were (and sometime are still) used as medicines by native peoples."

MONDAY, MARCH 20, 2017.

Exposing The Clandestine Relationships Among Our Michigan Plants – Newer DNA-Based Classifications presented by Anton (Tony) Reznicek, Curator, University of Michigan Herbarium. We live in an exciting time for biology, because we can now study organisms by directly accessing their genetic material, rather than using indirect (and usually imprecise) methods. So we have gained a huge amount of understanding of relationships among plants and groups of plants in a short period of time. Some of the new information we have unearthed has illuminated some extremely interesting aspects of our flora. However, because our system of naming plants is tied to their relationships (not arbitrary), this results in some name changes. We can see that clearly by comparing the families and genera of plants recognized in the three volume Michigan Flora by Ed Voss,with those noted in the Michigan Flora website – there are lots of name changes! I’ll argue that these changes are signs of progress. We’ll also look at just how we know what we do, and why we are certain enough about some facts to actually be willing to change the names.


Ferns of Southeast Michigan - Carol Clements,

Naturalist for Wayne County Parks and Manager of Nankin Mills Interpretive Center in Westland Michigan is home to over 70 species of ferns, with over 40 species in our area.  Some are easy to recognize and others are more difficult to tell apart. This program will focus on some of the unique characteristics that will help you distinguish these botanical treasures. 

Fall/Winter Programs

Spring 2019 Field Trips

LeFurge Woods – Saturday, April 20, 10:00 am

This will be a reprise of last year’s trip, but without (hopefully) the freezing rain. LeFurge Woods is amazingly rich in wildflowers and never disappoints. The parking area is on the east side of Prospect Road , 0.8 miles north of Geddes Road , in Superior Twp. (north of Ypsilanti ). Trip leader: Bill Brodovich.

Click on the picture above to go to a Flickr album with photos from the January 2017 Potluck. The album will open in a new window.

Click on the picture above to go to a Flickr album with photos from the January 2017 Potluck. The album will open in a new window.

Monday, January 16, 2017 – Annual Pot Luck, and Wildflowers of Michigan Nature Association Sanctuaries - Rachel Maranto, Regional Stewardship Organizer Southeast Lower Michigan.  This program will highlight several Michigan Nature Association (MNA) sanctuaries in southeast Michigan and beyond with excellent wildflower displays across a variety of habitats.  You will also learn how you can help MNA with botanical survey efforts at these sanctuaries and our other properties statewide.

No December Meeting

Monday, November 21, 2016 – The Far-Reaching Effects of Soil Fungi on Plant-Insect Interactions - Amanda Meier,  doctoral student in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at the University of Michigan.    Beneficial soil fungi, such as mycorrhizal fungi, can have extensive effects on plants and insects above-ground. Mycorrhizal fungi associate with over 80% of all plant species and provide plants with nutrients in exchange for sugars from the plant in a mutually beneficial relationship. Amanda will discuss the important role mycorrhizal fungi play in interactions among plants, insects, and the predators of insects above-ground. She will review this research performed at the University of Michigan in milkweed (Aslcepias) species and conclude with comments on why we should consider mycorrhizal fungi in our own natural landscapes.

Monday, October 17, 2016 – THE MICHIGAN DUNE ALLIANCE:  RESTORING EASTERN LAKE MICHIGAN COASTAL ECOSYSTEMS presented by  SHAUN HOWARD, The Nature Conservancy’s Eastern Lake Michigan Project Manager.  The Great Lakes contain the world's largest freshwater dune system, totaling 275,000 acres of perched, parabolic, and linear dunes with the majority of these ecosystems located throughout Eastern Lake Michigan.  The nearshore dunal area provides critical habitat to nearly 10% of Michigan’s species of concern, while also playing a key role in Michigan's growing eco-tourism economy through the numerous recreation and quality of life benefits it offers.  This presentation with provide information on the importance of this system, the threats facing it, and efforts by the Michigan Dune Alliance to protect and restore a globally-unique landscape. 

Monday, September 19, 2016 – THE RUBIACEOUS ANT-PLANTS OF SOUTHEAST ASIA, LUXURY CONDOMINIUMS FOR ANTS presented by Frank Omilian. Tens of thousands of plants have symbiotic relationships with ants but few can match the elaborate nature of this one! The swollen bases of these plants make a number of different kinds of chambers for the ants (some to live in and others for wastes) as well as ant entry holes in the base and tunnels connecting it all. A power-point presentation will provide the details, and many plants from Matthaei’s world-class ant-plant collection will be on display in the auditorium.



Past Field Trips 2017

Walden West

Saturday 9 September – 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Field Trip Leader: Bob Smith

Walden West is a 119-acre property in Lenawee County that is now protected and will serve as a “living classroom” for Adrian College.  The property, which features rare fen habitats, was owned by Ann Arbor residents Jim and Mary White.  The White’s donated a conservation easement, which permanently protects the land in a natural state, to Legacy Land and Raisin Valley Land Trust.  After establishing the conservation easement, the Whites donated the land to Adrian College for use in their educational programming.

The preserve offers a diversity of wetlands, ponds, a medium sized lake, a substantial glacial moraine.  Highlights may include four species of carnivorous plants, three types of orchids, several types of milkweeds, and numerous fen species.     

To Carpool: Meet at Chelsea Park-n-Ride I-94 Exit 159 or at Meijer 3145 Ann Arbor Saline Rd. Depart at 9:00 a.m.

Meet at10:00 a.m. at the junction of US-12 and Tipton Hwy. about 2 miles west of M-52. There is a produce stand (it will be closed) immediately northeast of where Tipton Hwy. meets US-12.  The green Tipton Hwy. sign is right by the stand. From there we'll drive a little over a mile farther to Walden West.

Huron Meadows Metropark

Saturday 26 August - 10 a.m.- noon     Focusing on the "Hylo/Desmos"... aka the "The Tick Trefoils"

Field Trip Leader:  Ron Gamble

These plants eventually have seed pods that stick on you, but they have no legs, and aren't known to pass disease! The Desmodium rotundifolium should be in bloom, which most folks likely haven't seen. We'll find more, and hopefully find those Hylodesmums, which the taxonomists split apart from the Desmodiums. Walk will be easy, dry and mainly on-trail. There could still be deer flies and/or mosquitoes.

Directions: Huron Meadows Metropark is located at 8765 Hammel Road, Brighton, MI. Turn south at the park entrance (if you've turned onto Hammel from Rickett Rd.; that means a left turn at the Hammel address, as a right turn takes you to golf course), continue to the back parking lot, where there is water and restroom facilities.

Watkins Lake State Park (DNR)

Saturday 19 August – 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. Watkins Lake State Park (DNR) Field Trip Leader: Bob Smith.

Watkins Lake State Park was dedicated in 2016 in southwest Jackson County.  The DNR describes the area as “open meadow, mixed hardwoods, low wetlands, and open water”.  It also includes aboriginal artifacts and several fire circles.  Immediately to the west is a large fen that includes open artesian wells deep enough for winter fishing.  This outing will explore the botany of all of these areas. The fen, in particular, will have a number of rarities.   Dress appropriately for fen walking.

Much of the park was once a cattle operation.  The large northern part, north of Arnold Rd., is still cut up by some pretty formidable fences.  I have not yet found good ways to get around there.  As you go west in the park, south of Arnold Rd., you come to the Arnold property.  Continuing west is more state park. Most of the Arnold property is a very interesting fen.  The fen continues into the west section of the park.  The Arnolds are negotiating the sale of their in-holding, and this likely will become park land.  


To Carpool: M-14/Miller Rd Exit Park-n-Ride . Departure at 9 am. Take M-14 W, then I-94 W, M-52 S to W Pleasant Lake Rd in Sharon Township, drive W, SW on Pleasant Lake Rd. Take Sharon Hallow Rd south (at Sharon Valley the rd zigs then zags continuing S on Sharon Hollow Rd ) to Herman Rd., head W, SW on Herman, at the fork stay R on to Horning Rd to Arnold Rd. Take Arnold Rd N to the parking lot where the road bends west.

Meet 10 a.m. at the Watkins Lake S. P. parking area at the point where Arnold Rd turns west (yellow dot on map).  Once we have everyone, we drive to the Arnold's, where we can park.  We will then do the outing in that fen area, including the western park area, and possibly adjacent forest.

(Long Lake Fen of Waterloo Rec Area- This field trip has been cancelled.)

Aquatic Flora of Mill Lake

Saturday 15 July – 10 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Field Trip Leader: Erick Elgin

Mill Lake is a shallow lake located in the Waterloo State Recreation Area. The lake has a large littoral zone and a watershed that is partially protected, making it an excellent location to observe the wonderful diversity of plants under the water’s surface. We will cover the importance of aquatic plants to lake ecosystems and spend time identifying floating-leaf and submerged aquatic plants. We will be canoeing, kayaking, snorkeling, and wading in the shallows to collect the plant specimens (please bring your own gear). Genre we are likely to find: Potamogeton, Stuckenia, Utricularia, Myriophyllum, Najas, and Chara. 

Field Trip Leader bio: Erick Elgin is a Water Resources Educator for Michigan State University Extension. His job responsibilities include providing expertise in aquatic ecology to the state of Michigan and deliver educational programs that promote our understanding about water resources. Erick grew up on a small farm in Minnesota and went on to study water resources management and work with multiple habitat restoration companies and organizations. He has a master’s degree in aquatic ecology from the University of Calgary where he studied food web impacts on prairie pothole lakes in Alberta, Canada. He has extensive experience working with lakes, wetlands, and aquatic plants.

Carpool: Meet at Miller Rd Park-n-Ride at 9:00 a.m. or at Chelsea Park-n-Ride at 9:30 a.m.  

Directions: Take I-94 West to Pierce Road /exit 157, drive North on Pierce Rd, turn left onto Bush Rd. Meet at 10:00 am at the entrance of the Mill Lake Camp on Bush Rd just north of the entrance to the Gerald Eddy Discovery Center Waterloo State Park.    Bring your kayak, snorkel, water shoes for wading.

Goose Creek MNA Sanctuary

Sunday 4 June - 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.

Field Trip Leader: Tony Reznicek

Goose Creek Grasslands Nature Sanctuary extends over three-quarters of a mile from southeast to northwest along the Goose Creek, and includes many diverse habitats. Saturated soil, wet prairie, marsh, and fen habitats are all found within the sanctuary’s boundaries, allowing for a wide range of plant and animal species to exist. Prairie fens are extremely delicate areas that form where groundwater flows back to the surface through alkaline soil. Because of its rarity and size, the fen of Goose Creek Grasslands is an extremely important remnant.

GCS lies enfolded in Michigan’s Irish Hills, in a glacial trough which showcases deposits of raw gravel left behind by retreating glacial ice sheets. The hills make this area of southern Michigan a scenic part of the state, bisected by the historic Great Sauk Prairie Trail.

Over two hundred plant species have been identified at Goose Creek Grasslands, including seven that are classified as rare. Sedges are abundant among many fen plants, including buckbean and pitcher plant.  Aquatic plants, such as pickerel weed and pondweeds, take advantage of the wettest sites. Adding color to the landscape later in the season are Goose Creek’s dozens of prairie flowers, including culver’s-root, Indian paintbrush, many sunflowers and Joe-Pye weed. 

Directions: Located in Lenawee County, off Cement City Highway across from Goose Lake. From the north or south: Take US-127 and go east on Vicary Rd. Turn south onto Cement City Highway.  From the east or west: Take US-12 and turn north onto Cement City Highway. Parking is available, along the road, near the Goose Lake boat dock.

Carpool: From Miller Rd./M-14 Park-n-Ride depart at 12 noon.

For additional information, contact Rachel Maranto at 517-525-2627,

Shiawassee Basin Preserve Field Trip

Saturday June 10, 2017 10 a.m. - 12 p.m.

Field Trip Leader, Mike Losey, Natural Resources Manager for Springfield Township. 

Joint with SE Chapter. 

The Shiawassee Basin Preserve is a 514 acre Springfield Township park located just north of Davisburg. Notably, this preserve helps protect one of the largest and highest quality prairie fen complexes in the Midwest. Numerous rare plants and animals can be found at the preserve, including the largest remaining population of Poweshiek skipperling, a federally endangered prairie butterfly. Tour participants will explore some of the interesting features of this park including the response of plant communities to various management techniques. In early June, we can expect to observe many plants typical of prairie fens in the early growing season, potentially including several species of orchids that are associated with prairie fen wetlands. Participants should bring sturdy hiking boots, preferably waterproof, with sufficient ankle protection and support to guard against cut stumps and uneven terrain. Also, insect repellant clothing or spray, sunscreen and a water bottle are advised. This field tour is rated as low-medium difficulty due to anticipated length of hiking loop (1.5 miles), varying terrain and potentially uneven footing in the prairie fen.

Meet at 8731 Eaton Rd, Davisburg, MI to consolidate vehicles to make the drive to the interior of the preserve easier. Over flow parking is at our Civic Center (which has bathrooms).

Carpool from Ann Arbor: Meet 8:30 a.m. at the Miller Rd. M-14 park-n-ride. (ca. 1 hr drive via US 23, may be slow due to construction).

BioBlitz @ McCulley-Bastian Nature Sanctuary

Saturday 6 May 1:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m

Survey start times: Birds 7:00 a.m. Herps 10 a.m. Plants 1:00 p.m.

Field Trip Leader: Rachel Maranto

Help us survey for critters and plants of all types at MNA's new nature sanctuary in southeast Michigan.  The data we collect will be used to generate comprehensive species lists for the sanctuary.  No previous identification skills are needed to participate, but RSVP to Rachel is required! Email or phone 517-525-2627.

The McCulley-Bastian Nature Sanctuary is primarily southern floodplain forest, known in this part of the state for its species richness. The remaining uplands are mesic southern forest, and dry-mesic southern forest. The sanctuary provides excellent nesting habitat for neo-tropical migratory birds and provides forest interior nesting habitat for a heavily fragmented portion of Michigan. The forested River Raisin corridor has connectivity to support wildlife migration as well. Walking will be moderately challenging and the soils will be wet in places.  There are no trails, so visitors are encouraged to bring a map and compass to find their way safely around the sanctuary.

Carpool and Directions: Meet at Chelsea Park-N-Ride I-94 Exit 159 or at Meijer 3145 Ann Arbor Saline Rd.  Departure 12:15 p.m. Use your Mapquest or Google Maps to get to 2600 N Wilmoth Hwy, Adrian, MI 4922. From M-52, take Sutton Road east for 2 miles. Turn right (south) on N Wilmoth Hwy and drive another 1.2 miles. After crossing the River Raisin, park on the shoulder near the driveway for 2600 N Wilmoth Hwy. The sanctuary is on the west side of the road. For additional information, contact Rachel at 517-525-2627. 

Spring Botany and Horner’s Woods Workday

Saturday 22 April, 1:00 to 4:00 pm

Trip Leader: Sylvia Taylor

Join volunteers from the Michigan Botanical Club and MBGNA to scout for the invasive garlic mustard and help with light trail maintenance at Horner Woods, a wildflower sanctuary NE of Matthaei Botanical Gardens. Volunteers will also enjoy seeing large patches of a lovely native wildflower, Twinleaf, which will be in peak bloom in late April.

Join volunteers from the Michigan Botanical Club and MBGNA to scout for the invasive garlic mustard and help with light trail maintenance at Horner Woods, a wildflower sanctuary NE of Matthaei Botanical Gardens.  Volunteers will also enjoy seeing large patches of a lovely native wildflower, Twinleaf, which will be in peak bloom in late April.  

Please wear light colored or easily visible field clothes, and sturdy closed-toe shoes.  We provide tools and orientation.  Minors are welcome with permission forms; those under 16 must be accompanied by a parent/guardian.

Meet in the west lobby at Matthaei Botanical Gardens 1800 N. Dixboro Rd. to caravan to Horner Woods.

Winter Woodies of Waterloo

Saturday 28 January 2017

10 am to 1 pm Field Trip Leaders: Neal Billetdeaux and Robert Ayotte

Join Neal and Robert for a winter woody plants foray into the forests and bogs of Waterloo.  We will explore upland Oak-Hickory type forest and the Cedar Lake bog.  Along the way we will see tuliptree and yellow birch on the eskers, a few ericads down in the bog. 

There will be a brief introduction focusing on the origins of this glacial landscape, and a short primer on woody plant identification.  We’ll examine both deciduous and evergreen trees, shrubs, and vines.  We will distinguish terminal buds from false terminal buds, and give particular attention to bud scars, lenticels, and piths.  We’ll need to keep a sharp eye out for persistent fruits!

The walk will encompass a couple of miles of flat to rolling terrain.  Meet inside the Gerald E. Eddy Geology Center at Waterloo State Recreation Area 17030 Bush Rd, Chelsea, MI 48118(ph: 734-475-3170).

Winter Walkabout - LeFurge Woods Nature Preserve Saturday,  February 11,  2017 (in case of inclement weather: Sunday, Feb. 12th).   Field Trip Leader: Robert Ayotte

Pre-walk Refreshments 1:15 - 2:00 p.m. at Superior Township Hall, 3040 N. Prospect Road, Superior Township, MI 48198 (located at the corner of Prospect and Cherry Hill roads). Walkabout from 2:00 to 3:30 p.m. at LeFurge Woods Nature Preserve -1 mile south of Township Hall (park along Vreeland Road near the Conservancy Farm). Contact: Taylor Myatt for more information. Joint with Southeast Michigan Land Conservancy (SMLC). 


Fall Woody Plants of Radrick Forest

Saturday 22 October 2016 10 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. (Note this was changed from October 8 to October 22.)

Trip Leaders: Neal Billetdeaux and Robert Ayotte

Comprised of three adjacent forest ecosystems Radrick Forest is the perfect place to demonstrate how different forest ecosystems evolve from contrasting physiography (geography and parent soils).  We will discuss the glacial origins of the landscape, and closely examine the soils of communities dominated by Oak-Hickory, Southern Dry Oak, and Southern Mesic forest types.  There will be an in-depth review of the diverse Woody Plants growing within these ecosystems.

Winter Woodies Workshop at Scio Woods Preserve

Saturday 27 February 201610:00 to Noon

Trip Leaders:  Neal Billetdeaux and Robert Ayotte

Join Neal and Robert for a review of the winter features of trees, shrubs, and vines in their winter condition.  There will be a focus on buds, bud scars, bark, and fruit (with special attention to “lines of dehiscence”).   This is a Joint field trip with the Stewardship Network. 

Because of limited parking at Scio Woods Preserve, meet at the Park 'n Ride lot at Miller Rd & M- 14 to carpool. Carpool to depart at 9:45 a.m. going west on Miller to south on Wagner to west on Scio Church.

Spring Botany and Horner’s Woods Workday

Saturday 23 April 20169:00 am to 12:00 pm

Trip Leader: Sylvia Taylor

Join volunteers from the Michigan Botanical Club and MBGNA to scout for the invasive garlic mustard and help with light trail maintenance at Horner Woods, a wildflower sanctuary NE of Matthaei Botanical Gardens. Volunteers will also enjoy seeing large patches of a lovely native wildflower, Twinleaf, which will be in peak bloom in late April. Please dress for physical, outdoor work. Sturdy closed-toe shoes are required. We provide tools and orientation. Minors are welcome with permission forms; those under 16 must be accompanied by a parent/guardian. Meet in the west lobby at Matthaei Botanical Gardens 1800 N. Dixboro Rd. to caravan to Horner Woods.

Spring Botany at Scio Woods Preserve

Saturday 7 May 1:00 pm to 3:00 pm.

Trip Leader Aunita Erskine and Robert Ayotte

 Scio Woods is a rich oak beech maple woods that we are lucky enough to have on our doorstep just a few miles west of Ann Arbor.  We’ll focus on getting re-acquainted with spring ephemerals and other emerging spring wildflowers. We may even be lucky enough to see a paw paw, bladder nut, or spicebush in bloom!   

Carpooling is STRONGLY ENCOURAGED because of limited parking. The preserve is located on Scio Church Rd in between Wagner and Zeeb.  To carpool, meet at the M-14 and Miller park n' Ride departing at 12:30p.m.

Spring Botany and Horner’s Woods Workday

Saturday 21 May 1:00 to 4:00 pm

Trip Leader: Sylvia Taylor

Join volunteers from the Michigan Botanical Club and MBGNA as they continue to remove invasive garlic mustard at Horner Woods, a wildflower sanctuary NE of Matthaei Botanical Gardens. In late May, Garlic Mustard will be in bloom and more easily identifiable for removal. Please dress for physical, outdoor work. Sturdy closed-toe shoes are required. We provide tools and orientation. Minors are welcome with permission forms; those under 16 must be accompanied by a parent/guardian. Meet at Matthaei Botanical Gardens, 1800 N. Dixboro Rd., near the back horticulture entrance (due to the second spring plant sale that will be held partly in the west lobby), to caravan to Horner Woods.

Lefglen Nature Sanctuary

Saturday 18 June10:00 am to 1:00 pm

 Trip Leader: Rachel Maranto

Join Rachel Maranto, of the Michigan Nature Association, for a guided tour of the diverse habitats and wildflowers of Lefglen Nature Sanctuary.  This 200-acre preserve, near the Sharonville State Game Area, is home to a pair of small lakes, prairie fen, mesic and dry-mesic oak-hickory forest, and a savanna remnant. 

5343 Wolf Lake Rd, Napoleon Township, MI 49240.

Directions from Ann Arbor: 

GPS coordinates: 42° 11' 11.3172'' N 84° 13' 11.6256'' W

Get on I-94 W, Follow I-94 W to W Old US Hwy 12 in Sylvan Township. Take exit 157 from I-94 W (16 min (18.9 mi))

Continue on W Old US Hwy 12. Take E Michigan Ave and Norvell Rd to Wolf Lake Rd in Napoleon Township. There is a small parking area on the left about 400 feet after Rexford Road.

Restoration of Oak Savanna at MacCready Preserve

August 27th at 10:00 am - 1 pm

Leader: Professor Lars Brudvig

Note: there will easy to moderate hiking to get out to and around the field locations – less than 2 miles total, but up and down some steep hills.

Join MSU Restoration Ecologist Lars Brudvig for an in-depth interpretation of the Oak-Savanna restoration project at MacCready Reserve.  The MacCready Reserve is a 408-acre property that is designated for education, research and outreach programs in wildlife and forestry management. The lush setting includes 6.5 miles of trails, rolling terrain, natural springs, a diversity of wildflowers, mature hardwoods, and a plethora of bird species.

In restoring the Oak-Savanna, Lars and his students in the Brudvig Lab take a plant community approach – coupling restoration and landscape ecology to 1) seek the basic underlying drivers of ecological communities across space and time and 2) apply this knowledge to the field of restoration ecology.

“We address questions about how and why space matters for plant communities and what this means for their restoration.  Much of our work is centered on large-scale experiments – among the world’s best experimental tests in landscape ecology.  To provide strong linkages between basic science and its application, we collaborate with several land management agencies.  See:

Workday and Botanizing at Horner Woods

Saturday 15 October 1:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m.  Trip leader: Dr. Sylvia Taylor

Join Sylvia and mentor Matthaei volunteers on HVC's last field trip of 2012 for trail maintenance,  buckthorn removal and botanizing in this wildflower sanctuary and old forest.  Meet at Matthaei Botanical Gardens, 1800 N. Dixboro Road (west lobby), Ann Arbor for sign-in and carpooling to the site. 

Meetings 2015 - 2016

Monday, April 18 , 2016– Manoomin: The Story of Wild Rice in Michigan presented by Barb Barton, endangered species biologist and Wild Rice conservationist,.

Wild Rice is a staple of the Anishinaabe people of the Great Lakes region and was once much more abundant in Michigan than it is today. Learn about the story of Manoomin (Wild Rice), its past and present, and what is being done to restore it to Michigan’s landscape.

March 21, 2016– Ecosystem Conservation at The Nature Conservancy’s Erie Marsh Preserve presented by Chris May, Director of Restoration for The Nature Conservancy in Michigan.

Erie Marsh Preserve on Lake Erie contains some of the last remaining coastal wetlands in southeast Michigan and provides critical habitat for migratory birds and fish. The Nature Conservancy and partners are working at multiple scales to restore native ecosystems and natural processes, not only at Erie Marsh, but along the entire coastline from the Detroit River to Sandusky, Ohio. Work at Erie Marsh provides an example of large-scale restoration that will benefit native plants and animals, while also providing ecosystem services and recreation opportunities for people.

February 15, 2016 -  Kissing Cousins and Family Skeletons - The Michigan Flora and Modern Evolutionary Biology presented by Dr. Anton (Tony) Reznicek  

Modern evolutionary biology, with its ability to directly access the genetic material of plants, has revolutionized our understanding of the evolution of our flora. This has turned up many interesting facets about how plants in our flora are related, but also has exasperated people familiar with the traditional names and arrangements of plants. We will explore the underlying principles behind the re-working of plant relationships, plus look at some of the interesting and sometimes remarkable new facts about plant evolution and relationships. Meeting combined with Wild-ones Chapter.

MONDAY,  January 18, 2016                                                                                                                                                          6:00 PM - ANNUAL POTLUCK                                                                                                                                                        7:30 PM – WILDFLOWER PHOTOGRAPHY AND TECHNIQUES presented by Bob Smith, Huron Valley Chapter member and expert photographer. Bob’s program will focus on how to make photographs that are useful for plant identification, illustrated with photos of local plants. For Bob's floral gallery see: 

Past Activities of the Huron Valley Chapter are here.