Southeastern Chapter of the MBC

Do you wish to join the Southeastern Chapter of the Michigan Botanical Club? Then click here to access the membership form.



Meet at the Visitor Center/Spicer House, Heritage Park, Farmington Hills, MI.

24915 Farmington Rd, Farmington Hills, MI 48336  

Programs at 2:00 p.m.




Fall 2019 Indoor Program Schedule

Sunday, October 6

Joe Derek, Naturalist and Outdoor Educator, will present a program on Backyard Habitat. As a National Wildlife Foundation backyard habitat owner for 30 years, he will show you how to attract nature to your home. It can be a balcony, patio or full size yard. Everybody can invite some segment of nature no matter the size of the space.

Joe Derek has loved nature since childhood and is the former Farmington Hills City Naturalist.  He has conducted classes and seminars on nature and the outdoors since 1977.  High school was spent at St. Mary’s boarding school during the 1960’s at Orchard Lake.  Education there was o.k. but fishing was terrific!  He hosted “Naturally Michigan Afield” for four years at WCAR and WHND A.M. radio.   Joe hosted nature related television shows on local Channel 8 while he worked for Farmington Hills. 
During the 1970’s, he was fortunate to have spent time with Dr. Warren H. Wagner Jr., Botany Professor at U of M in Ann Arbor.  Joe and Judy Derek’s two acre property is certified a National Wildlife Federation Backyard Habitat where he now spends time with his tropical fish hobby and creates areas for butterflies and hummingbirds.

He has 15,000 to 20,000 photos of the world of nature that greets him at home. He is a former board member of Friends of the Rouge and Detroit Audubon.

Sunday, November 3 Landscape Changes on Belle Isle

Presenter: Suzan Campbell

Suzan will talk about the Belle Isle forest and why it is so special. She will discuss the causes of its dramatic decline in recent years, the restoration work now being done by the DNR and about what that work hopes to accomplish.

Sunday, December 1

Rethinking Municipal Playgrounds in Detroit: Community Garden, Natural Playground and Native Prairie Presenter: Mary Tischler CPA, CGMA Chief Financial Officer, Ginosko Devlopment Company

2019 Field Trip Season

Saturday, August 24 at 10am-noon. Bridge Valley Reserve. North Oakland Headwaters Land Conservancy

Sue Julian Director of the North Oakland headwaters Land Conservancy will lead us on a walk at Bridge Valley Fen. This is an area that is not open to the general public. We will be walking through 4 foot tall grasses and into low fen areas which will be wet. Please be prepared with boots and long pants, and possibly long sleeves and protection from the sun for walking through tall vegetation and into open wet marl areas. Sue has let me know she is not the plant expert, so study up on prairie fens… We visited Bridge Valley Fen as part of the Shiawassee River Corridor field trip of the 2005 Botanical Club Foray. Sue was one of the leaders for that trip. It has been identified as a place well worth returning to see . We will meet at the NOHLC office at 7150 Dixie Highway in Clarkston at 10am and carpool to the site from there. In case of bad weather, this trip will be cancelled or postponed.

“Nestled within wet depressions among the rolling hills of southern Lower Michigan, prairie fen wetlands are one of Michigan’s biological treasures. These globally rare wetlands are dominated by sedges and grasses and provide habitat to hundreds of native plants and animals. In addition to being incredibly rich in biological diversity, prairie fens form the pristine headwaters of many of the region’s rivers and lakes. The streams and lakes that emanate from prairie fens sustain countless species and provide recreational activities cherished by swimmers, boaters and anglers. These wetland communities serve as a rich biological reservoir and form a critical component of the natural landscape of southern Michigan.” Exploring the Prairie Fen Wetlands of Michigan (E3045) MSU Extension bookstore. Much of this bulletin can be found on-line at

The link below is a little more technical, but has lists of common plants of prairie fens

Saturday, June 15 at 1pm. Sedges at Stage Nature Center, Troy. Leader, Mary Creager

Join us on Saturday, June 15, 2019, at 1 pm, for ‘Getting to Know Sedges’ at the Stage Nature Center in Troy, MI. Located at the northern edge of the River Rouge watershed, this 100-acre City of Troy preserve contains upland and floodplain forest, dry and wet meadow, and wetland habitats. About two dozen species of Carex are present;   beginners and experts alike are invited to make their acquaintance and contribute to development of a species inventory for this site. This is easy walking, on chipped trails and boardwalk, with only modest elevation change; but please wear sturdy shoes and bring your bug spray. A camera, small notebook, hand lens, kneeling pad, and sedge reference materials will be helpful if you have them.

 Stage Nature Center is located at 6685 Coolidge Hwy, Troy, 48098, and is within a couple miles of M-59 and I-75 freeway exits. But please check construction information for possible ramp and local road closures. More information about the Center, and its activities and programs, is available at

Trail maps and additional trip information will be circulated the week prior to June 15. Everyone is welcome!

Saturday, April 13, 1:00 p.m. Spring Wildflower Walk, Tenhave Woods, Royal Oak.  Leader, Don Drife, President, Royal Oak Nature Society.

The 22-acre Tenhave Woods, a early settler’s original woodlot, features three forest types and a trail system.  Trails can be wet in early spring so boots are advised.  We will be looking for red & white Trillium, blue & yellow Violets, Jack-in-the-Pulpit, Bloodroot, Trout Lily, Wild Geranium, Spice Bush, Spring Beauty, Wood Poppy, Jack-in-the-Pulpit, Wood Anemone and more.  There is no pre-registration or cost for this walk.  Meet at the main entrance of the park along the south fence, facing Lexington Blvd and about 300 feet east of Marais. Lexington entrance parking is available at a lot adjacent to the intersection of Lexington and Marais and at the Senior/Community Center. 

A map to Tenhave Woods can be found here:

More info about Tenhave Woods can be found here:

2019 Indoor meetings

Sunday, February 3, 2019 No Potluck this year (2019). Program at 2pm as usual. Michigan Conservation Stewards Program: The Michigan Conservation Stewards Program (CSP), first piloted in Oakland and Livingston counties in 2006 and which has since grown to several other locations, is a volunteer leader training program designed for those interested in learning about Michigan conservation history, natural communities, science-based ecosystem-based management principles, and sharing this knowledge with others to help restore and conserve ecosystems. During this presentation, participants will learn about the nuts and bolts of the program, how MSU Extension partners with local conservation organizations to deliver the in-person classroom and field-based as well as online training, and how the program helps ready the next squad of volunteer superheroes to jumpstart community conservation capacity to address local conservation needs. This presentation concludes with a discussion about possible ways the Michigan Botanical Club might partner with CSP in the future to advance each of their respective missions. Presented by: Bindu Bhakta Natural Resources Educator for Michigan State University (MSU) Extension based in Oakland County.

Sunday, March 3, 2019 2pm

“Interactions between wildfire, jack pine, Kirtland's warbler, and forest management in northern Lower Michigan”

Jack pine-(Pinus banksiana) dominated forests in northern Lower Michigan are the primary nesting habitat for Kirtland's warblers (Setophaga kirtlandii), a federally-endangered migratory songbird. Historically, wildfires produced jack pine stands in the appropriate structure for warbler habitat, but fire suppression management has interfered with that structuring force and management agencies have created habitat plantations for decades. Maggie’s work has focused on effects of both natural and man-made disturbances, and on ways to better emulate natural forest structure in managed forests. She will discuss the historical landscape, past management, and insights for future management of this dynamic forest type. She will also discuss some of the opportunities to be found at Wayne State for ecologically-minded students.

Presented by Maggie Tucker, postdoctoral associate, Wayne State University.

Maggie Tucker earned a BS in environmental sciences and a PhD in biological sciences with a concentration in forest ecology, both from Wayne State University. She is currently a postdoctoral fellow there.

Sunday April 7, 2019 2pm

"Aliens Among Us" 

Many of the organisms that we see in nature were not here before Europeans settled the land. Cone and discover which everyday plants and animals are really 'strangers in a strange land.'

Presented by Don Drife, long-time MBC member, botanist, and current President of the Royal Oak Nature Society.


Sunday, October 7, 2018 2pm   "Michigan's Big Tree Project"                                                   Presented by Ted Reuschel,  Big Tree Project coordinator for Michigan Botanical Club.

Ted Reushel graduated from Michigan Tech in Houghton with a degree in Forestry, and spent his entire career with the Forest Management Division of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Ted worked in the western U.P., Northwestern lower, and in Lansing. After his retirement, Ted continued his interest in trees, and big trees in particular, by joining Andy Sawyer's team of inspectors and certifiers. When Andy retired from his post as state coordinator last year, Ted was asked to take up that position, and happily accepted.

The program Ted will be presenting will clarify what constitutes a "big" tree, and just how certain trees come to be exceptional for their species. We'll talk about how they are measured and scored, and how and where they are registered. MBC now has a nomination form right on their website. Ted will show photos of some of the largest trees we have, and also point out why some of what appear to be our largest diameter trees just don't qualify. There will be opportunity for questions and answers.

Sunday, November 4, 2018 2pm “ A Few of my Favorite Nature Images.”  Presented by long-time Michigan Botanical Club member, Caryle Spence. (This program was originally scheduled for February 2018, but was cancelled due to snowy weather)

Over the years Caryle has taken thousands of nature photographs.  She has selected a few of her very favorites for our program.  Images will include plants (of course), birds, insects, and scenic features. Caryle is a member of the Michigan Botanical Club and the Southeast Michigan Butterfly Association.  She raises native plants in her yard in Northville to feed and raise butterflies and moths.

Sunday, December 2, 2018 2pm

“Across Michigan by Covered Wagon in 1888” by Dr. Garrett Crow President, Michigan Botanical Club

In June of 1888 an exploring expedition by Michigan Agriculture College, concerned with the botany, forestry, and agriculture of the North Country, crossed the northern Lower Peninsula from the shore of Lake Huron to the dunes of Lake Michigan. The party consisted of Dr. W. J. Beal, Liberty Hyde Bailey, C. F. Wheeler, and two botany students. The expedition was widely reported on by reporters from the Detroit Free Press and the Tribune who accompanied the group. Nearly 100 years later Ed Voss and Garrett Crow, based on all the specimens collected, all newspaper accounts, photographs in the MSU Archives, historical literature, maps and advice from local historians, attempted to reconstruct this pioneering scientific endeavor—and in 1975 retraced the route.

Natural areas in Detroit's Parks

We have made field trips to various large parks in the City of Detroit. In 2017, we visited Palmer Park. Stay tuned for future field trips to Detroit's large parks.

Palmer Park is on the east side of Woodward Avenue between McNichols and Seven Mile Rd.

“…Although surrounded by urban areas, even to the untrained observer, these parks [Palmer, Pitcher and Balduck} show an impressive quality and quantity of plants species.

Since so little is left of the natural vegetation of the Detroit area, especially in large tracks, these three parks remain as some of the last outposts of what used to be vast tracts of forest that grew on the fertile lake bottom...” Weatherbee's Botanical Surveys 2004.


Recent past Field Trips

Saturday, April 28, 2018 at 1pm   Spring Wildflower Walk with Don Drife at Tenhave Woods, Royal Oak.  Park at Lexington/Marais lot & meet at Lexington entrance (along the south fence).  We will be looking for Red & White Trillium, blue & yellow violets, Jack-in-the-Pulpit, Bloodroot, Trout Lily, Wild Geranium, Spice Bush, Spring Beauty, Wood Poppy, Jack-in-the-Pulpit, & Wood Anemone and more.

Check out Royal Oak Nature Society events at Tenhave on their website:


Sunday, April 29, 2018 at 2pm   Spring wildflower walk with Suzan Campbell at Palmer Park in Detroit.  Meet in front of the Community Center in the Splash Pad Parking lot. Palmer Park is along  the west side of Woodward avenue  between 6 and 7 mile roads.  Parking lot is about where Pontchartrain Blvd meets Merrill Plaisance. From 7 Mile Rd. take Pontchartrain into the park. From Woodward, just north of 6 mile, take Merrill Plaisance into the park. Come and explore the glacial lake bed and beach ridges. Early spring wild flowers seen in the park include: merrybells, trout lily, yellow violet, Canada Mayflower, trillium wood anenome, spice bush and Ohio buckeye.

This woods and trails are basically flat. There may be a few muddy or wet places. As of April 28, there will be wet and muddy places, we will try to go around the worst of them.


Sunday, May 6, 2018 at 2pm    Exploring for spring wild flowers at the new Stone Bridge Trail. Rouge Park in Detroit with Ruth Hart.  Park on the side of the road near trail head, Tireman, just east of Outer Dr.

This is a short trail on the Rouge River floodplain. We will see some beautiful mature trees of many species including large Beech, Sycamore, Hackberry and Poplar. Spring wild flowers include swaths of trout lily, a large patch of dutchman's breeches, big patches of spring beauty, virginia waterleaf and scattered cut-leaf toothwort. It will be interesting to see what the flood waters have done. We are likely to hear and see some  migrating birds as well.


Saturday, June 9, 2018 at 1pm  Fern Walk in Holliday Preserve with Carol Clements. We will meet in the parking lot at Hix Park (6867 N. Hix Rd. Westland) and walk into the Koppernick section of the preserve from there.  

Koppernick is a rich forest habitat with close to 20 different fern species. We will learn helpful clues to recognize and differentiate the many species of Michigan native ferns. Be prepared for insects and possibly a little mud. Most of hike is on established trail, but a couple off trail locations will be visited. 

Saturday July 21 “Field Tour of the Shiawassee Basin Preserve” 10am-12pm at Shiawassee Basin Preserve.  Trip Leader: Mike Losey

The Shiawassee Basin Preserve is a 514 acre township park located in Springfield Township, just north of Davisburg. Notably, this preserve helps protect one of the largest and highest quality prairie fen complexes in the Midwest within one of the most beautiful settings left in Oakland County. 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 late July, we can expect to observe many plants typical of prairie fens and adjacent upland habitats, and potentially some rarities as well.


Southeastern Chapter Officers

PresidentEmily Nietering 313-278-9269

Vice President -

Secretary/TreasurerRuth Hart 313-849-2844

Director at Large - Alice Ward - 248-673-1183

Director at Large - Renee Zimmerman 248-855-0145

Director at Large - John Zimmerman 248-855-0145