By Kary Askew Garcia, MNA Intern
Summer has come and gone in what seems to be the blink of an eye — yet it’s not too late to enjoy an educational and aesthetically pleasing Wildflower Walkabout at an MNA nature sanctuary.
- Saturday, September 6 – 1 p.m. Saginaw Wetlands, Huron County
- Saturday, September 6 – 11 a.m. Keweenaw Shores No. 1, Keweenaw County
- Saturday, September 20 – 10 a.m. Goose Creek Grasslands Nature Sanctuary, Lenawee County (rescheduled from August)
- Saturday, October 4 – 1:30 p.m. Phillips Family Memorial, Van Buren County
Saginaw Wetlands Nature Sanctuary is a lakeplain prairie habitat. Historically, Michigan had nearly 160,000 acres of this type of ecosystem, yet today only 511 acres remain. Saginaw Wetlands preserves 155 acres of this rare habitat.
This sanctuary boasts an array of plant species within the lake plain oak opening, wet prairie and wet mesic prairie habitat, among others. The lake plain prairie is of critical concern due to land degradation. This habitat contains grasses as well as a beautiful variety of wildflowers.
The Keweenaw Shores No. 1 Nature Sanctuary also boasts a beautiful array of flora during the fall season. The sanctuary is located in the Upper Peninsula and consists of an interesting geology, conifer swamp and boreal forest. Among wildflowers, another interesting plant to be found in this sanctuary are the colorful lichens which attach themselves to rocks and trees. Lichens are indicators of good air quality. This sanctuary boasts a beautiful array of colors in the fall season.
The Phillips Family Memorial Nature Sanctuary in Van Buren County is also unique as it is one of three sanctuaries to contain a coastal plain marsh community. This rarity allows for 40 different disjunct plant species to grow there. Some plants that grow in coastal plain marsh communities are bald-rush, seedbox and tall beak-rush.
Due to schedule changes, the Wildflower Walkabout hike at Goose Creek Grasslands was moved to September. This is a great opportunity to see the unusual plants that make their home in the sanctuary’s prairie fen!
Don’t miss a chance to experience the beauty of Michigan’s nature! Mark your calendar for the next Wildflower Walkabout.
Call the MNA office at (866) 223-2231 or visit the MNA website for more information. We hope to see you at a hike soon!