Late Fall 2004
Vol. 12 No. 3
"Vision without action is only a dream. Action without vision only passes time. Vision with action can change the world." - Joel Baker

In this issue...

Reflections from the President

How the Nature Area Works with Other Groups

Education Committee

Nature Area Happenings

Garlic Mustard - Another Damaging Exotic

Nature Area Entrance - Native Garden

Did you know?

Upcoming Events...

November 6
Annual Meeting
10:00 AM
Centennial Farm
Members & Public

November 13
Work Day
9:00 AM
Nature Area


Nature Area Entrance – Native Garden

by Margarete Hasserodt

It had been a longtime wish of Conservancy president Bruce Jones and the Nature Area committee to clean up the entrance to our Nature Area and to make it beautiful and inviting for our visitors and Grosse Ile residents as well. A grant from BASF for wildflower plantings made it possible to begin with this project. We started almost a year ago, in late fall of 2003, when we had approximately 100 ft combined of the ditch north and south side of the entrance, filled with soil. Sloping down toward the fence for good drainage. Beautiful rocks were located in and around the Nature Area and placed to guide visitors through the gate. Over the winter, the soil had a chance to settle.

As spring came, we realized how much we had to enhance the top layer of soil before we even could start planting. Composted wood chips and sand were hauled in by wheel barrel. Michele and David Griesmer came with a rotor tiller on a Saturday morning and did a tremendous almost backbreaking job. Many unnamed helpers created the outside border from fallen branches, collected from the Nature Area. Smaller rocks were lined up closer to the fence to avoid erosion. It looked like nature's necklace.

With the delivery of the wildflower plants, came also the rain and the surrounding Cottonwood trees shed millions of seeds. Some mornings the area looked as if it had snowed overnight. Thanks to our volunteers, Jim Bintinger, Marilyn Dexheimer, Pam Keller and Cari Thiel we planted about 250 seedling plants of various wildflowers; i.e. Lupine, Tall or Green-headed Coneflower, Black-eyed Susan, Swamp Milkweed, Butterfly Weed, Blue Vervain, New England Aster and Ironweed.

In late summer, we purchased about 140 plugs (plants) of various grasses — Big Blue Stem, Little Blue Stem and Indian Grass — and planted them between the already established wildflowers. The cost was almost covered by the generous donations from Barbara Leeper, Elke Malcomson and Anke Robinson, M.D.

We are also very grateful for other unnamed “Kindred Spirits” who somehow made time when we needed them. This whole concept is not only for folks who love to garden, but also for the enjoyment and enhancement of our community at large. In a year or two this area will be completely filled with wonderful colors, a painter's or photographer's paradise. The butterflies and bees are already enjoying the menu and so are the rabbits.

Thank you all, it was after all a very good summer.