Get To Know A Sanctuary- Morgan Porritt Plant Preserve

Subdivisions dot the landscape of Orion Township, but one place was missed by development.

The Morgan Porritt Plant Preserve in Oakland County consists of about 7.75 acres of cedar swamp and forested wetland, with areas of upland forest.

Warm, moist conditions in the preserve support ancient plant types like ferns--MNA photo

The native plants that grow in the preserve include some of the oldest plants in the world in terms of evolution.  The preserve’s warm, moist conditions are similar to those present millions of years ago, which supports ancient plant types. Some of the types of liverworts, mosses and ferns were here before the dinosaurs.

Though Morgan Poritt is located in the path of rapidly developing Metropolitan Detroit, there are still many high-quality parcels of natural lands nearby.

Spring in the Morgan Porritt Plant Preserve--MNA photo

The forested wetland and cedar swamps that exist around the preserve benefit the surrounding residents not only as places to visit and a refuge for native plants and animals, but also as important water-filtration and flood control areas.

Despite loggings by settlers in the 19th century, the wetlands remain and the forest cover has regenerated, providing heavy shade to the ground even on a sunny day.

The swamps and wetlands in the township have provided refuge for wildlife and for the many native plants that grow in the moist shady habitat, sheltered by the cedar, yellow birch and other trees that make up the canopy above.

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About Michigan Nature Association

The Michigan Nature Association is a non-profit organization that has been dedicated to preserving Michigan’s natural heritage since 1952. MNA protects more than 10,000 acres of land in over 170 nature sanctuaries throughout the state of Michigan, from the tip of Keweenaw in the Upper Peninsula to the Indiana/Ohio border.

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