Summer 2008
Vol. 16 No. 2

I should ask that a gift to each child in the world be a sense of wonder so indestructible that it would last throughout life..." Rachel Carson

In this issue...

Reflections from the President

Legislative Victory for Land Conservation

Tree Planting Workshop

Stewardship Report

Margarete Hasserdot is the Rotary "Citizen of the Year"

Geology Rocks Unveiling

Wildlife Signs

Nature Area Update

Recent Membership Drive

New Options for Donors

Watchful Eyes

GINLC Awarded Grant

Our Wish Came True

Did You Know?

Thank you

Memorial and Honors


Upcoming Events...

Nature Area Open
Saturdays 10AM to 2PM
Thursdays 6PM to 8PM
(Weather Permitting)

Late July - September
Lotus in Bloom
(Nature Area)

November 8
Annual Meeting


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GINLC Awarded Grant

The Conservancy was recently awarded a grant from the Alliance for the Great Lakes to restore the detention pond at the southwest corner of Intrepid and Meridian at the Commerce Park property. The pond is a critical part of the extensive drainage system for the east side of Meridian, south of Grosse Ile Parkway.

A major concern has been a growing bed of phragmites forming across the pond inlet. Phragmites is an exceptionally aggressive invasive plant that forms a very dense mat of growth blocking normal water flow. Recent studies at the University of Delaware indicate that phragmites exude gallic acid into the soil to destroy the root systems of neighboring plants, wiping out all competition. This acid, an astringent used industrially for tanning leather, also changes the acidity of the water around the plant. In time, the whole aquatic ecosystem can be affected. Many of the tiny aquatic animals that live in the pond might not survive the change. Those macro-invertebrates are an important food source for the larger animals, like frogs and fish. In turn, the egret that feeds on the frogs at the pond might also need to find a new source of food.

The goal of the restoration project is to create a healthy ecosystem along with an aesthetically pleasing pond and adjoining upland area that contains a variety of native plants and animals. The first step in the restoration project has been an assessment of water quality and existing plants and animals found in the pond. High school biology students participated in the initial testing. The next steps will be to remove the undesirable phragmites, Eurasian milfoil (another non-native invasive species) and the algae that currently reside in the water. A water oxygenating system will then be installed so that the pond is no longer stagnant with inadequate rainfall.

The Conservancy is working with staff from the Airport/Commerce Park and is also reviewing plans with the township engineering consultants. The initial restoration work should be completed this summer, but efforts will likely continue into 2009. Periodic updates for this and other Conservancy projects will be provided for the public at the Conservancy's blog: