Land Conservancy: Notes from the field

June 23, 2010

Summer Solstice

Filed under: Uncategorized — landconservancy @ 11:50 am

The longest day of the year, means you can make the biggest difference!

Legacy Land Conservancy took part this solstice (June 21st) in “Day of Action” a city wide volunteering day organized by United Way (formerly known as “Day of Caring”).  Organizations from all over Ann Arbor came out in force to volunteer with non-profits.  Legacy was the proud recipient of a group of 11 very hard workers from Washtenaw Community College staff.  They braved herds of mosquitos and very hot weather to help us remove plants from our new trail at the Johnson Preserve. Native plants were given a new home just off the trail and others were weeded out, encroaching invasive shrubs were trimmed back, and the stump team made the trail safer for us all by digging up stump after stump, after stump, after stump…

Thank you Team WCC!



June 9, 2010

Got water?

Filed under: Uncategorized — landconservancy @ 1:01 pm

One of the things we would like to do both at the Johnson Preserve and Creekshead Preserve is to install a rustic-type boardwalk in the wetter areas of the trail.  This year so much of the trail is underwater we would have to cover over half of the trails.  More water and warmer days is also a recipe for MOSQUITOS!  If you head out to the woods be sure to wear your wellies and insect repellent, or even mosquito netting.


May 21, 2010

Thanks, Suzie

Filed under: Uncategorized — landconservancy @ 2:10 pm

Today marks Legacy Land Conservancy development director Suzie Heiney’s last day with us.  She’s moving to Sedona, another spot of great natural beauty, and we will miss her very much.

For seven years, Suzie has been the moving spirit behind much of the public face of Legacy Land Conservancy.  It is often her enthusiasm and open delight in the tiny wonders of nature – spring flowers hidden in the grass, a single rock, a stray feather – that reminds all of us why we’re here and why we decided to do this work.

Since we began this blog a year ago, Suzie has been our most diligent poster.  I hope we’ll continue to see ‘Suzie tracks’ as she jumps in occasionally to point out things about her new environment, and tell us what she misses about her old home.

Suzie — Thank you!


May 14, 2010

And the Preservationists of the Year are…

Filed under: Uncategorized — landconservancy @ 11:04 am

Once a year, Legacy Land Conservancy takes an opportunity to honor the Preservationist of the Year. This award honors people who exemplify the conservation ethic and who live it in their personal lives. 

The first of two awards for the 2009-2010 year goes to (more…)

May 7, 2010

An unpredictable nature

Filed under: Uncategorized — landconservancy @ 11:45 am
Spring was extremely early this year. May 2 is usually a perfect time for our annual Legacy Land Conservancy – Stewardship Network wildflower workshop at Creekshead Nature Preserve.  This year, though, nodding trilliums and the standard trilliums (grandiflorum) were the only things we saw several of. I estimate that the wildflowers were more than a full week ahead of their typical schedule over the average of the last 3-4 years.  The beech leaves are already completely unfurled (except for one just-unfurling example I found, shown here).
But we *did* see at least one example of nearly everything on our spring wildflower list – we just had to look harder to do it! (And in some cases be content with leaves and seedpods. Ah well, it makes us better naturalists, right?) 
Photos from the workshop are up at our Flickr account.
Anybody else seen any changes in timing this year?

April 27, 2010

Space still available – Sign up today! How to identify wildflowers, Sunday May 2

Filed under: Uncategorized — landconservancy @ 4:18 pm

Wildflowers are part of what make spring in Michigan so beautiful.  They only come around once a year, and now is the time to see them.  Want to learn more about native spring wildflowers?  Join us this Sunday!

Event: Identifying Woodland Wildflowers Workshop

Date & Time: Sunday May 2, 1:00-4:00pm

Location: Legacy Land Conservancy’s Creekshead Preserve, a high-quality remnant beech-maple forest home to trilliums, Dutchman’s breeches, blue cohosh, trout lily, spring beauty, and more.  

Hosted by: Stewardship Network and Legacy Land Conservancy

Description: At this workshop, you’ll learn how to identify some of Michigan’s most beautiful spring wildflowers.  Topics will include background on plant identification, an introduction to “indicator species”, and discussion of threats to wildflower areas, including invasive plants such as garlic mustard.   Then, we’ll hit the trail to see what we can find and identify.  By the end of the workshop, you’ll be a wildflower pro (and you’ll have a handy flower identification book to take home too)!

Registration: $10 for Stewardship Network members, $15 for non-members, includes flower id book.  Pre-registration is required; register online at the Stewardship Network website or call (734) 996-3190.  Hope to see you Sunday!

April 26, 2010

Q: When’s the best time to plant an oak tree?

Filed under: Uncategorized — landconservancy @ 12:51 pm

Q: When’s the best time to plant an oak tree?

A: Fifty years ago. And the second-best time is now.

This message comes via Conservancy friends Emily and Kurt, who both went in together with other folks on a big tree-order from their local conservation district [Washtenaw / Jackson]. The conservation districts are a great source of native plants – and if you get on their list now, you’ll know when the next sale is coming up, so you can plant your own trees and wildflowers.

Hope you had a lovely Earth Day!  Great to see everybody who came out to WCC for the Ann Arbor-area event, and a special kudos to all the folks who braved some pretty wet weather to celebrate in Jackson.

April 14, 2010

A round-up of Earth Day events

Filed under: Uncategorized — landconservancy @ 11:59 am

This year marks the 40th Anniversary of Earth Day and starting this Saturday, there are plenty of events to commemorate the day!

Volunteer Ambassadors at the Jackson Earth Day Celebration

Volunteer Ambassadors at the Jackson Earth Day Celebration

This Saturday April 17, from 10a.m.-4p.m. local organizations will gather in Tecumseh City Park for the Tecumseh Earth Day celebration.  The same day, the Waterloo Hunt Club will hold an Earth Day Clean-up at the Waterloo Recreation Center. Participants will meet at the Hunt Club at 9 a.m. and then make their way to the Rec Area.  Lunch will be provided.  Contact Jeff Stommen at (517)522-5018 or to attend.

Next Monday April 19, celebrate Earth Day with delicious local foods! Grange Kitchen & Bar will hold the Local Foods, Local Lands fundraiser for the Conservancy from 5-10 p.m.  Stop by for a quick drink or a full course prix-fixe meal – the proceeds will benefit the protection of valuable nature and farmland here where you live!

Join us at Beckwith Conservancy Nature Preserve, Saturday April 24 from 1:00-4:00 p.m. to commemorate both Earth Day and the National Youth Service Day by getting your hands dirty and preparing the preserve for the coming months.

Two events take place on Sunday April 25.  The Jackson Earth Day celebration will take place from 1:00-4:00 p.m. at Cascade Park, while the Ann Arbor Earth Day festivities will take place at Washtenaw Community College.  If you’re interested in volunteering for the Conservancy at either event, email

April 9, 2010

Learn to Identify Spring Wildflowers!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tags: , , , , — landconservancy @ 11:25 am

With the arrival of spring, comes the arrival of wildflowers!  The Conservancy’s Creekshead Preserve is blanketed in Dutchman’s britches, blue cohosh, trillium, trout lilly, and spring beauty this time of year.  The diversity of wildflowers at the preserve makes it the perfect place for the Identifying Woodland Wildflower Workshop, hosted by the Stewardship Network.

On Sunday May 2, this workshop will explore the ephemeral beauty of spring wildflowers.  Participants will learn how to identify Michigan spring wildflowers.  The workshop will cover background on plant identification, an introduction to “indicator species” and a discussion of threats to wildflower areas, including invasive plants such as garlic mustard.   Then, participants will hit the trail at Creekshead to see what they can find and identify.  By the end of the workshop, you’ll be a wildflower pro (and you’ll have a handy flower identification book to take home too)!

The event is $10 for Stewardship Network members and $15 for non-members.  Pre-registration is required on the Stewardship Network website.

If you can’t make it to the workshop, but still want to check out the spring blooms, stop by Creekshead – its located northeast of Ann Arbor on Curtis Road between Brookville and Five Mile Roads. Park along the road by the sign and watch for traffic.  We’d love to see pictures of what you find!

April 7, 2010

Local Foods, Local Lands Dinner at Grange Kitchen and Bar

Filed under: Uncategorized — landconservancy @ 11:57 am

Earth Day is just around the corner – how are you celebrating?  Here’s one idea – on April 19th, stop by Grange Kitchen & Bar, for a scrumptious fundraiser featuring early spring crops from local farms, benefiting the protection of nature and farmland in our community.   Whether you’d like to sit down for a full-course dinner, or if you only have time for a quick drink, you’ll be helping to protect nature and farmland here where you live.

Dining options include a full-course prix fixe dinner of in-season dishes with optional wine pairings on the main level, or a more casual- and just as delicious – bar menu upstairs (check out their seasonal cocktails!).

The full-course prix fixe menu features:

  • Spring Garlic Soup, poached Michigan Shrimp
  • Sauteed Whitefish, morels & ramp coulis
  • Choice of Lamb, goat cheese scalloped potatoes and arugula pesto; or Parisian style gnocchi, fingerlings, goat cheese, radishes and arugula
  • Rhubarb Crisp, buttermilk sorbet

The full course Local Foods, Local Land dinner is $65 per person, plus tax and gratuity.  Optional wine pairings with the dinner are $20.  Upstairs bar menu prices vary. Reservations are recommended for dinner.  To make a reservation, you can call (734) 995-2107 or make a reservation online through OpenTable.

Grange Kitchen & Bar is located at 118 W. Washington, in downtown Ann Arbor.

We hope to see you there!

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