Photo by Charlie Eshbach
MNA’s Black Creek Nature Sanctuary is made up of 242 acres of beautiful habitat in Keeweenaw County. A small footpath marks the entrance to Black Creek near the end of Sedar Road between Calumet and Allouez. The trail will take you to the 1300 feet of Lake Superior shoreline that MNA protects as well as the beaver marshes, dune habitat and conifers that surround the creeks. If you visit the sanctuary be sure to see the lagoon where Black Creek and Hills Creek meet before entering Lake Superior. This area is especially rich in wildlife and scenic beauty.
Charlie Eshbach, our Western Peninsula Field Representative, recently visited the sanctuary and said, ” the Red Maple buds were just half swollen. The sun was warm but there was a cold breeze off the lake. Then I heard the sound of rushing water down toward the creek. It must be a beaver dam. So here is one of the first signs of this slow spring. More later as the woods comes alive.”
It is very important to address invasive species like garlic mustard in our sanctuaries.
Garlic Mustard at Rizor Nature Sanctuary. Photo by Natalie Kent- Norkowski
Garlic Mustard is a native plant of Europe and many people believe it was introduced to the United States as a cooking herb. Once it is introduced into a habitat it spreads rapidly because of the large amount of seeds it releases and its tolerance of low-light areas.
Garlic Mustard takes resources like soil nutrients and water away from native plants, making it very difficult for native species to survive. New research has revealed a compound released by Garlic Mustard root systems which depresses the growth of native grasses and tree seedlings, even further explaining its dominance in forest ecosystems.
MNA leads volunteer trips to our sanctuaries to pull this invasive species out of the ground and take it out of the habitat so that it cannot spread its seeds. If you would like to find out more about how you can help with these projects, or any other volunteer opportunities please visit http://www.michigannature.org/home/how_help/calendar.shtml.
- MNA file photo
The Lefglen Nature Sanctuary in Jackson County was purchased from Lefty and Glenna Levengood and dedicated on October 24, 1971. They were nicknamed “the two nature nuts” by property owners in the area because of their passionate work in purchasing and preserving the land they sold to MNA.
Lefglen sanctuary is very diverse and contains many different habitats including wooded upland, cattail marsh, swale, lakes, tamarack bog, oak groves and prairie. This sanctuary also hosts a large native plant and animal population. With over 690 species of native plants, more than 50 types of birds and numerous amphibians recorded, it hosts the most species of any MNA property. The Lefglen Nature Sanctuary is easily reachable using the directions listed below, there is also a map of the sanctuary which you can use to navigate the trails.
From I-94 take the Grass Lake Rd. exit and head south on Mt. Hope Rd.
Turn right onto Michigan Ave. (West) Turn Left on Wolf Lake Rd. (South)
To reach the North Trail park at the Wolf County Park and walk north to 4833 Wolf Lake Rd, head down the driveway at this address and turn left at the picnic table.To reach the south trail drive past the Wolf County Park and park in the turn-out just past Rexford Rd. Walk down the incline and to your left to find the trailhead.