Spring 2010
Vol. 18 No. 1

In this issue...

Reflections from the President

Board Member News

News from Washington

Intrepid Pond

Update: Nature Area Gibraltar Bay Unit of the Detroit River Refuge

Hennepin Marsh Clean-up

Boy Scout Project

2010 GI Conservationist of the Year Award

Special Projects

Annual Meeting

Earth Day

Honors & Recognitions

Stewardship Corner

Memorials & Honorariums

Deer Resistant Plants

Did you know?

Upcoming Events...

April 24
Earth Day

1PM to 4PM
Centennial Farm

May 15
Dump the Junk Clean Up
Meet 9AM to Noon
Centennial Farm
Contact Pat Selby

November 6
Annual Meeting
10AM to 11:30AM
Centennial Farm


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Hennepin Marsh Tire Clean Up

Spring cleaning arrived early at the marsh this year. If you happened to pass over the toll bridge this spring on one of those days when a strong wind is blowing from the west and our water level has dropped by a foot, you may have noticed a cleaner marsh to the north. Over the years numerous car and truck tires, dumped into the river or broken free from docks, have washed ashore in this area where the Conservancy and the Gross Ile Bridge Company own property. The 121 acres of the Hennepin Marsh gifted to the Conservancy from BASF Corporation is a coastal wetland - an important area for wildlife that attracts migratory birds and waterfowl.

Previously, the Conservancy board committed itself to remove and dispose of the unsightly scrap tires in the marsh. With financial assistance from the Grosse Ile Bridge Company we were able to hire EQ, an environmental services company, to perform the work and dispose of the tires for a reasonable fee. To be both safe and successful we decided it would be best to remove the tires when the ground was frozen, so as not to require boats or navigation by foot through the deep mud. With almost constant snow cover in early 2009 we were not able to accomplish the work. This year we were able to get out on the ice in January, a relatively snow-free month, to map out the location of 10 tires. As fate would have it, a few days before the scheduled work day, we received a pretty significant snowfall. Nevertheless, EQ came to do the work, bringing with them a snowblower, shovels, ice picks and three strong guys to dig out the tires. The following month when the ice melted we were happy to see that we had indeed removed all of the intended tires. The GIBC expressed its appreciation for the Conservancy and "its hard work to beautify the shoreline along the Island's northern entrance." Greg Karmazin, Director of Community and Government Relations for the GIBC noted that GINLC's team developed and implemented a creative plan to remove sunken tires that were eyesores during low water levels. The GIBC was glad to be a partner in the effort. Many thanks to Doug Thiel who initiated the project with EQ and Pat Selby for coordinating the partnership and overseeing the site work.

VP and Stewardship Chair Pat Selby (L) with two of the EQ workers

Unfortunately, this month it has already appeared that two new tires have floated down and settled at the small island just north of the bridge. We recognize that a tire clean up is likely necessary every few years to keep the area clean.