Spring 2009
Vol. 17 No. 1

In this issue...

Message from the President

Welcome New Board Members

News from Lansing

Intrepid Pond

Landscaping at Centennial Farm

Hennepin Marsh Clean-up

New Detention Pond

2008 GI Conservationist of the Year Award

In Memorium

Annual Meeting

Earth Day

Honors & Recognitions


Membership Renewals
Memorials & Honorariums


Upcoming Events...

April 26
Earth Day

1PM to 4PM
Centennial Farm

May 2
GINLC Clean Up
Meet 9AM
Centennial Farm

May 9
Intrepid Pond Planting

Come when you can 9AM to 3PM
Meet at Meridian and Intrepid

Date to be announced
Fall Property Tour

November 7
Annual Meeting
10AM to 11:30AM
Centennial Farm


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Intrepid Pond
by Bruce Jones

As mentioned in The Voyageur last summer, the Conservancy has embarked on a project to improve the effectiveness of the detention pond in the Commerce Park on the southwest corner of Meridian and Intrepid.  This pond is an important part of the drainage for the southeast quadrant of the Island.  The obstruction of water flow through it could cause flooding between Grosse Ile Parkway and Meridian.  In early 2008, it was obvious that the pond was not functioning as it should because of the dense band of phragmites growing across the entrance.

Phragmites is a rapidly spreading invasive plant that forms a dense mass that impedes water flow.  In addition, the pond blockage was causing a buildup of soil in the drains under Meridian. Phragmites also produce gallic acid, which acidifies the soil and water so that native plants will not grow in it.  

After discussions with township management, Airport Maintenance and the Airport Commission, the GINLC applied for and received a grant from the Alliance for the Great Lakes for restoration of the pond.  Under the guidance of Ed Sperkowski, a pond expert, volunteers from the Airport Maintenance and the GINLC spent the summer and fall physically removing not only the phragmites but the Eurasian milfoil, another invasive plant that was found to be covering the pond bottom.  Supplies were obtained for an aeration system that should be installed this month.
Last fall, the Conservancy requested and received a second grant, this one from Freshwater Future, for the purchase of native submergent and upland plants to create a healthy and aesthetic pond ecosystem.  Following a design developed pro bono for the Conservancy by JJR and Associates in Ann Arbor, the first phase of planting will begin in late April and into May.  Also included in the first planting will be some native trees and shrubs around the pond.  If our funds hold up or additional memorial funds are received, additional plantings will be made this fall.

The Conservancy has also had discussions with the Amphibian Department of the Detroit Zoo and will consider adding ecological diversity to the pond by placing frogs, salamanders and fish in it.  When completed, the pond will be aesthetically pleasing and become an interesting educational outdoor learning area for Grosse Ile residents and visitors.

The Conservancy gratefully acknowledges project grants from the Alliance for the Great Lakes, Freshwater Future as well as the expertise provided gratis by Ed Sperkowski, the CE Raines Company, and JJR and Associates.