Spring 2005
Vol. 13 No. 1
"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

Annual Meeting Features Community Participation

Conservation Donations in Peril

Nature Area

Looking for Deer Resistant Plants?

More Than Just a Snappy Name

Red-Winged Blackbird

Did you know?

Upcoming Events...

March 18
Work Day
BASF Lot (To cut down phragmites)

March 24
Environmental Achievement Award Presented
Detroit Athletic Club

April 2
Nature Area Reopens

April 7
Emerald Ash Borer Conference
7:00 PM
Township Hall
Merle Solomon Room

March 24
Earth Day Celebration
10:00 AM to 2:00 PM
Nature Area

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Reflections from the President
by Doug Thiel

As I start my first year as the President of the Grosse Ile Nature and Land Conservancy I would be remiss in not recognizing the contributions of both Bruce Jones and Kurt Kobiljak, who up until now, have been the only two Presidents the Conservancy has had since its inception in 1993. They have guided this organization with unlimited energy, dedication and a great deal of imagination. They have both contributed greatly to the quality of life we currently enjoy on Grosse Ile through the many projects they have implemented with the assistance of many Conservancy volunteers and the many individual Conservancy members and Corporate sponsors who have provided the finan-cial support. We are also very grateful that both Bruce and Kurt are still active with the Conservancy. Thanks to both of you for all you have done!

In January, the Board met to develop our priorities for 2005. Here is a brief summary of our major goals for this year:

Website Expansion
Our plans are to have a virtual reality tour of GIN&LC properties available on our website this year. Greg Roginski, our Webmaster has done a tremendous job in upgrading our website. If you haven't visited it recently please check it out at www.ginlc.org.

Landscape For Learning
As reported in prior newsletters, this project has evolved through a partnership between the Grosse Ile School District and the Grosse Ile Nature and Land Conservancy. It involves the creation of outdoor learning areas for students on the school grounds of a number of Grosse Ile Schools. In 2004, we kicked off this project with conceptual drawings being developed and initial field work starting at Grosse Ile High School, Meridian Elementary School, Parke Lane Elementary, and the Middle School. In 2005, we hope to accelerate progress on this project with possible grant money becoming available. By the way- this project is drawing interest from various parties all across the State.

Establishing An Office
It is our plan to set up an office on Grosse Ile to house and better organize the Conservancy's many drawings, displays, and documents. It would also be used to hold meetings and house our library.

Nature Area
Plans are to continue to enhance the entrance area and area just south of the parking area with additional plantings. We will be completing the restoration of the shoreline on Gibraltar Bay with additional plantings of native emergent species. We will also be continuing our efforts to control invasive species in this area.

Two additional projects are the installation of an osprey-nesting platform at Quarry Pond and developing a database summarizing the flora, fauna and minerals observed by visitors to the Nature Area. Three potential boy scout projects include a new kiosk which will help to inform and educate visitors to the Nature Area, a new trail on the east side of the Nature Area and additional duck nesting boxes around the Nature Area and lower Detroit River ecosystem.

Invasive Species
Working in partnership with Federal, State, County, Township officials, and experts from private companies it is hoped that a regional control and educational plan can be developed to battle two major invasive species in our area, Purple Loosestrife and Phragmites.

We currently have approximately 180 families, businesses and Corporations who are members of the Conservancy. We have established a goal of expanding that number by 50 during 2005.

Special Lecture Series
Our Education Committee is planning on sponsoring periodic lectures during the year on ecology-related subjects by recognized experts from around the State. Look for information on the dates and lecture topics on our website, in our newsletters and in the Grosse Ile Camera.

As you can see we have established a very ambitious set of goals. We can use your help, both as volunteers on projects and financially, to success-fully complete all of these goals during 2005. If you would like to help, have questions, or suggestions for future projects you can contact us through our website, or through any one of the Board members listed on the cover page of this newsletter. On behalf of the Board I would like to thank all of you for your continuing support of the Conservancy!