Jun 15 2012

Sugar Island Public Meeting: June 18; 7PM; Grosse Ile

Published by under Hiking: Regional


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One of the great aspects of reviving a blog after a year or so is the fact that there is just so much new information to write about.  One of the more important recent events in area wildlife/land preservation is the addition of Sugar Island to the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge.

Sugar Island is a 30-acre patch of land in the lower Detroit River between Grosse Ile and the old Boblo Island amusement park.  It has long been a gathering place for area boaters, despite the fact that it was private.

It’s addition to the refuge is just another landmark in the burgeoning wildlife corridor that spans for miles along the Detroit River and western Lake Erie.

Federal ownership of the property, however, is not without its challenges.  The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service plans to close the island to public use.  This is consistent with some other areas that have been incorporated within the refuge, like the old Camp Lady of the Lake property in Erie Township.

There has been so much public outcry about the closure that a meeting has been scheduled to discuss public access to the island.  It is scheduled for June 18 at 7PM in Grosse Ile.

More details at the Downriver News Herald website below:

http://www.thenewsherald.com/articles/2012/06/05/news/doc4fce73e046d3c727965636.txt

One response so far

Jun 15 2012

Freep: Eric Sharp Kayaks Detroit River

Published by under Hiking: Regional

Eric Sharp has always been more than just the average hunting and fishing columnist for the Detroit Free Press.  He has also been a strong advocate for opening our areas waterways for public recreation.  This past week, he wrote an interesting story about a recent kayak trip on our area’s most dramatic river, the Detroit River:

http://www.freep.com/article/20120614/SPORTS10/206140506/Eric-Sharp-Taking-the-Detroit-River-by-kayak

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Sep 18 2011

Detroit River Refuge: Coming Events

Published by under Hiking: Monroe

 

 

 

International Wildlife Refuge Alliance   

 
Event Sponsors
INTERNATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE ALLIANCE
Quick Link
www.iwralliance.org

iwr_alliance@yahoo.com

 SAVE THE DATE

7th Annual  

IWRA Benefit Dinner will be held again on  BASF’s Fighting Island

May 2012 !

 

Details to follow  

 Become an
Annual Donor
:
The International Wildlife Refuge Alliance is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to helping the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service deliver the  mission of the
Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge. 

An alliance of individuals and organizations committed to the success of the Refuge.

$15 Mayfly
(Decal)

$30 Canvasback
(Pin,Decal)

$60 Walleye
(Hat, Pin, Decal)

$100 Great Blue Heron
(License Plate, Pin, Decal)

$250 Lake Sturgeon
$500 Mallard

Contact us for
more information on sponsorship opportunites!

www.iwralliance.org
iwr_alliance@yahoo.com
734.692.7671
   

Humbug Shoreline Restor

 Humbug Marsh 

Open House  

THURSDAY, September 22  

4 – 8 p.m.  

  5437 W. Jefferson Avenue

Trenton, Michigan

 

Have you noticed a transformation of the Humbug Marsh shoreline?   

Learn more at the 

Shoreline Restoration Walking Tours  

with Allison Krueger, Landscape Designer  

at 5, 6 and 7:00 p.m. 

 

Be sure to walk the trails and visit  

Anna Cook, FWS in the Education Shelter.

Shagbark HickoryCan you identify this tree of the  

Wet Mesic Flatwood Forest ? 

You will after talking with Anna! 

    

See you there! 

 

    

Please visit the website for future events and directions at www.iwralliance.org   

 

. . .working through partnerships to protect, conserve, and manage the Refuge’s wildlife and habitats: and to create exceptional conservation, recreation and educational experiences,to develop the next generation of conservation stewards.  Thanks to you! 

 

 

  
 
 
 
 
 
 

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Sep 01 2011

Walk Report: Olander Park – Sylvania, OH

Published by under Hiking: Regional

Fatherhood has changed my hiking patterns just a bit.  Instead of hiking after work, I might put on the head lamp and venture out after bath time.  Instead of a long car ride to a distant destination, I stay a bit closer to home.  And I have traded some backcountry bushwacking for more civilized footsteps along Metropark-like paved pathways.

Olander Park in Sylvania, Ohio fits the definition of “civilized” hiking.  Kathy and I decided to visit the park to walk for several reasons.  Its open, park woods landscape and suburban location means that bugs are less likely to be an issue than more wild environs.  And the park’s 1.1 mile trail is paved, making it perfect for our one-year-old Jacob and his stroller.

As we pushed Jacob around the pleasant park loop, we caught nice views of Olander’s 28-acre pond.  The pond has an interesting history.  It came as the result of sand and gravel excavation necessitated by local freeway construction.  The construction company that owned the property struck a natural spring during the digging and the pond began to fill.

With time, the industrial purposes of the property took a back seat to recreation.  A unique Sylvania-area park system, the Olander Park system took over management and developed the 60-acre park we see today.

Those who pay the park admission fee [$3 to $7] will experience a variety of park delights.  A swimming beach is available for a small additional fee.  Visitors enjoy fishing along the pond’s banks.  Small boat rentals are a popular choice.  And park shelters and rental facilities are popular for family reunions and weddings.

For our son, Jacob, the highlights were the park’s four playground areas.  These are spaced judiciously around the park loop and give a walking family pleasant and regular diversions.  If Jacob started to squawk, a playground was never far away.

A “hike” in the park is still quite pleasant, despite the civilized nature of the pathway.  Large, mature trees give the place a “Sunday in the Park with George” quality.  Area ducks create engaging obstacles to navigate.  And the park is just pretty.

1.1 miles is not quite enough to create a satisfying walk, but it is easy enough to walk the park’s loop multiple times.  We walked three loops during our visit.


View Olander Park in a larger map

Olander Park is a great place to walk with young children and family members who don’t enjoy roughing it.  Despite its suburban location and civilized qualities, I very much enjoyed my visit.

Link:

http://www.olanderpark.com/pages/OlanderPark.htm

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Aug 23 2011

Hike Report: Addison Cross Country Trail

Published by under Lenawee Hiking/Nature

While the primary purpose of a school is to educate the children, Michigan’s public schools are also owners/adminstrators of large blocks of public land.  So they should not be overlooked as potential sources of interesting hiking trail.  This is most especially true during the fall when school cross country teams draw white lines and clear trail through hundreds of Michigan forests.

The Addison Community Schools in northwest Lenawee County are a perfect example.  Immediately north of the Panther Elementary and Addison Jr./Sr. High are dozens of acres of pine plantation, deciduous woodlot and open meadow.

The Addison cross country teams worked very hard during the past year to turn the woods into a prime cross country competition course.  In addition to regular school meets, Addison held a community 5K on the course earlier this year.  Coach Chris Christensen and all team members should be very proud of their accomplishments.  [Full Disclosure: I am biased.  I teach at Addison.]

While the entire trail system totals 3.1 miles in length, some of that involves routes in and around athletic fields.  I will not include that in this report.

There are two basic ways to access this trail system.  One is at the back of the Addison athletic complex.  The trail peeks out of the woods in two spots just beyond the outfield fence of the baseball field.  More practical, however, is an old railroad right-of-way that intersects with Comstock St. just to the south of the Addison Millpond.  At this location, fishermen have carved out several perfect spots to park a car to access this trail.

A hiker should follow the right-of-way east until a mowed path with yellow “trail” signs comes into view.  The entire route runs in a generally clockwise fashion from this point onward.

The first section of the trail is sandy and passes through a disturbed meadow habitat.  Views of the millpond and town cemetery come into view.

Soon, a visitor enters a mature pine plantation.  Pine plantations are a guilty pleasure of mine.  Once mature, these kinds of woods can often become biologically dead zones, but I have always enjoyed the pleasant pine fragrance, dark coolness and soft needle pathways of a pine forest.  Addison’s version is very pleasing as it slaloms between the trees and speeds quickly through the plantation straightaways.

The visual highlight of the entire trail soon comes into view as the easternmost portions of the Addison Millpond reveal themselves to the north.  Sure, this isn’t an ocean or Great Lakes view, but it is a mildly dramatic vista and the frogs, ducks and lily pads are certainly worth the effort.

The trail reaches its easternmost point and then u-turns back onto the old rail corridor.  From here it’s a straight and open mowed-grass path west between the pines on the right and more leafy woods on the left.  The path turns south and up a small hill into the woods.

Inside the woods, the trail weaves back and forth.  These are well-loved paths and there can be come confusion as to the proper route.  I recommend looking for remnants of the white cross country route marker as is speeds along.  Most interesting are the large numbers of rocks and small boulders that mark the remnants of past glaciation in this region.

As the trail finds the edge of the woods near the athletic complex, it is possible to follow the full Addison cross country route.  Just head out of the woods and use the white line and map as a guide.

Those who remain in the woods will walk another half mile before moving back out of the woods and onto the old railbed.  At this point, a short walk to the west returns a hiker to his or her car with a few new miles underfoot and memories of a nice natural experience close at hand.

Note: The Addison Community Schools are currently working on a major addition and renovation project.  The sounds of the project can be heard from the trail.  And it is possible that trail access might be limited at times.  Also, this is a school campus, so it is best hiked on the weekends and after school hours.

Link:

http://www.mapmyrun.com/routes/view/34568536

One response so far

Aug 23 2011

Two New Lenawee County Dragonfly Species Observed

Published by under Lenawee Hiking/Nature

This has been an amazing week for dragonfly hunters in Monroe and Lenawee Counties.  First, Darrin O’Brien discovered the first Russet-tipped Clubtails ever seen in Monroe County at West County Park near Dundee.  And now Rick Nirschl, a moderator at rarebird.org, reports that he observed two dragonfly species never before seen in Lenawee County.

Nirschl completed the new records at Tecumseh’s beautiful Indian Crossing Trails Park.  There, he observed three Flag-tailed Spinylegs and three Smoky Rubyspots.  The Spinylegs observation was only the third ever in the State of Michigan.

We live in historic times.

Check out amazing pictures of the sightings here:

http://www.rarebird.org/forum/forum_posts.asp?TID=5955&PID=17869#17869

One response so far

Aug 23 2011

Waterloo Rec. Area Land Trade in Jeopardy

Published by under Hiking: Regional

Southeast Michigan’s most prominent long hiking trail, the Waterloo-Pinckney Trail, passes through Waterloo State Recreation Area north of I-94 between Jackson and Ann Arbor.  At times, the trail passes close to a sand and gravel mining operation.  A deal was proposed by the mining company to trade 324 acres of previously-mined land to the state in exchange for a lease to mine 72 acres of park property.

The plan was and is controversial.  Complicating the plan was the fact that portions of Waterloo were once part of a national park demonstration project.  The terms by which the federal government deeded the land to the state gave Washington the power to reject non-park use of the land.

And now it appears that the National Park Service has rejected the use of that portion of Waterloo for mining purposes.  More from the Jackson Citizen Patriot:

http://www.mlive.com/news/jackson/index.ssf/2011/08/deal_to_swap_land_in_waterloo.html

No responses yet

Aug 21 2011

Hot Air Balloon National Championships Underway in Battle Creek

Published by under Things to Do

Trace Christenson of the Battle Creek Enquirer has an overview of the 2011 Balloon Federation of America (BFA) National Hot Air Balloon Championship now under way in the cereal city.  Events related to the competition continue all this week.  This sounds like a good daytrip opportunity.

Link:

http://www.battlecreekenquirer.com/article/20110821/NEWS01/108210307/1002/NEWS01

No responses yet

Aug 21 2011

Detroit Walking Tours: Feet on the Street

Published by under Hiking: Regional

Stacy Jenkins of the Observer & Eccentric newspapers has a review of Feet on the Street tours.  The tour company offers walking and motorized tours of the City of Detroit.  Tours focus on architecture, history, food and music.  These tours sound like great fun.

Story Link:

http://www.hometownlife.com/article/20110821/NEWS16/108210487/1033/rss21

Feet on the Street Link:

http://www.feetonthestreettours.com/

No responses yet

Aug 19 2011

Humbug Marsh Scavenger Hunt: Sunday, 8/21

Published by under Hiking: Regional

The Humbug Marsh, a unit of the Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge located along Jefferson on the border of Trenton and Gibraltar, is hosting a scavenger hunt this Sunday.  Here’s the release from the International Wildlife Refuge Alliance:

International Wildlife Refuge Alliance   
 
Event Sponsors
INTERNATIONAL WILDLIFE REFUGE ALLIANCE
Sponsor
Quick Link
www.iwralliance.org

iwr_alliance@yahoo.com 


The 6th Annual

Benefit Dinner was 

May 21, 2011

 

See www.iwralliance.org

for photos from the event posted soon

 Become an
Annual Donor
:
The International Wildlife Refuge Alliance is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to helping the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service deliver the  mission of the
Detroit River International Wildlife Refuge. 

An alliance of individuals and organizations committed to the success of the Refuge.

$15 Mayfly
(Decal)

$30 Canvasback
(Pin,Decal)

$60 Walleye
(Hat, Pin, Decal)

$100 Great Blue Heron
(License Plate, Pin, Decal)

$250 Lake Sturgeon
$500 Mallard

Contact us for
more information on sponsorship opportunites!

www.iwralliance.org
iwr_alliance@yahoo.com
734.692.7671
 
SCAVENGER HUNT

in

 Humbug Marsh at the

Open House  

SUNDAY, August 21 

Noon – 4 pm  

  5437 W. Jefferson Avenue

Trenton, Michigan

camera

Will you be able to locate what 

objects are in our photos?   

 

All ages, any family size or individual, can enjoy this Sunday afternoon activity in Humbug Marsh.  Pick up a ring of photos at the entry table . . . locate the object in the photo . . .  then discover what’s inside Humbug today!

 

What am I ?  

          Where I am ? 

 

 

 

Hope to see you Sunday!

 

 

Please visit the website for future events and directions at www.iwralliance.org   

 

. . .working through partnerships to protect, conserve, and manage the Refuge’s wildlife and habitats: and to create exceptional conservation, recreation and educational experiences,to develop the next generation of conservation stewards.  Thanks to you! 

 

 

  

No responses yet

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