Spirit Spring Sanctuary: Swamp Forest, Saturday June 28 2014 10 am

Spirit Springs Sanctuary

Dutch Settlement Rd, Cass County                                                      

Saturday, June 28, 2014, 10 AM


This coming Saturday’s field trip will explore the diverse woodlands and wetlands of Spirit Springs Sanctuary, a 124-acre preserve owned by the Southwest Michigan Land Conservancy (SWMLC).  Classic glacial topography of the preserve features rolling woodlands that surround a 7-acre pond and border 65 acres of spring-fed wetlands.  A small creek connects the pond and wetlands. The mixed deciduous and evergreen upland woods are punctuated by openings where prairie plants grow.  The wetlands include an extensive black ash & tamarack swamp and a buttonbush bowl.  As you would expect, the variety of habitats support a wide array of plant communities.     A network of maintained trails provides access to the various areas of the preserve.  Come prepared for walking woodland trails and perhaps some wet areas.  Bring insect repellent.

Leading the trip will be Lynn Steil and Becky Csia, longtime members of the Michigan Botanical Club and volunteers with SWMLC’s land protection and stewardship committees.  Lynn serves on the Spirit Springs Stewardship committee.

Directions:  Spirit Springs Sanctuary is located in eastern Cass County on the north side of Dutch Settlement Road between Miller Road (on the west) and Day Road (on the east) near the St. Joseph County line.   From Kalamazoo:  Take US 131 south to M216. Turn right to go to Marcellus and in town go south (left) on M40.   After traveling 3 miles Dutch Settlement will cross M40 (a green street sign will be on your right).  Turn left (east) and go about 2.2 miles.  A small brown sanctuary sign will be on the right and the preserve entrance will be on the left. Red flags will be placed at the driveway.  There is a parking lot.