Exciting Field Trip Opportunity!

Summer Saturday Field Trips
The Nature Conservancy to offer free guided field trips this summer

June 4 marks not only National Trails Day, but a day with free field trips with scientists and conservation leaders from The Nature Conservancy.

The Nature Conservancy will be hosting field trips at the Paw Paw Prairie Fen Preserve, Ives Road Fen Preserve, Fox River Trail and Saugatuck Harbor Natural Area on Saturday, June 4. The trips are free to the public and open to all ages with advance registration by May 27.

The field trip in Paw Paw will begin at 9:30 a.m. and run until 12 p.m. under the leadership of Fire Manager Jack McGowan-Stinski. Participants will be lead through the 150-acre Paw Paw Prairie Fen Preserve where they can expect to encounter great blue heron, turtles, frogs and a variety of plant species, including Indian plantain and edible valerian. For the workday, expect to remove invasive species at the end of the trip.

 The Ives Road Fen Preserve field trip begins at 9:00 a.m. and runs until 1:00 p.m. The trip will be headed by Assistant Restoration Ecologist Mike Losey. On this field trip, participants can expect to see rare Michigan plants like grass pink orchids and pitcher plants. The workday will consist of hand removal of two invasive species that negatively impact this natural community: garlic mustard and golden Alexander. Volunteers have removed more than 13 million invasive plants, including 1.5 tons of garlic mustard, at the preserve over the past decade.

The Fox River Pathway field trip gives people the chance to mark trails and clear brush on a seven-mile hike through the upper Fox River. The trip is lead by Conservation Director Tina Hall and Upper Peninsula Restoration Ecologist Chris Cantway. It will start at 8 a.m. and conclude at 4 p.m. At the preserve, expect to pull invasive plants during the end of the trip.

The final field trip will be at the Saugatuck Harbor Natural Area. Led by West Michigan Conservation Director John Legge, this field trip begins at 9 a.m. and will consist of a hike and break that will conclude at 11 a.m. Following the hike, participants may join an optional workday to remove invasive species from 11a.m. until 12:30 p.m.  

All trips are free, but space is limited. The registration deadline is Friday, May 27. Call the RSVP Hotline at (517) 316-2285 or email mifotrips@tnc.org. More info on all the trips can be found at nature.org/michigan or by clicking here.

The Nature Conservancy is the leading conservation organization working to protect the most ecologically important lands and waters around the world for nature and people. To date, the Conservancy and its 1 million members have been responsible for the protection of more than 120 million acres worldwide, including 360,000 acres in Michigan. The Nature Conservancy is working to make the Great Lakes watershed among the most effectively managed ecosystems on Earth. For more information, visit http://nature.org/michigan.

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