Upcoming Projects (we hope...)
We have got all kinds of great stuff lined up for 2023! We're still waiting to hear back on whether or not we'll be getting approved for the funding that we need, but if we are approved, here are some of the cool projects we've got lined up!
Gladwin City Park. If you've been there before then that might be all we need to say, but if you haven't, allow us to elaborate. Gladwin City Park has been completely overrun with Oriental Bittersweet, which is a vine that climbs and chokes out anything and everything it can (see the picture below for an example of a very young OBS vine cutting into a buckthorn). Currently, the area we're hoping to clean up will get some herbicide treatment, forestry mowed and then treated again. This project will end up creating some drastic changes to how that park looks and will create a healthier, safer ecosystem for folks and wildlife to enjoy.
We've also got some plans to clear a few more walls of buckthorn at Chippewa Nature Center by use of forestry mowing, similar to our big project there at the start of 2022. We're also hoping to help out on a few projects for Midland and Gladwin Road Commissions. There's always more work to be done and if it doesn't happen on this most recent round of funding requests, we'll be sure to keep at it until we get it done!
Current or Previous Projects
Boot Brush Signage in the Five Counties
One of our goals as a CISMA is to educate the public on invasive species, but it's also nice to be able to give people the tools they need to help themselves to stop the spread. We are currently in the process of getting education signage with a boot brush attachment in each of our five counties. Currently, we have installed them in every county except for Clare, but we are working on finding just the right spot for there as well.
Keep your eyes peeled for these signs when you're out hiking and be sure to make use of the brushes when entering and exiting the trails!
We thought it might be a good idea to check out what was going on with our partner, Forest Hill Nature Area, over in Gratiot County, and would you believe us if we told you that we found some invasive species? We managed to get roughly 20 acres of land mowed for woodie invasives like Autumn Olive. We also installed a bootbrush and got some Black Locust tees cleared out just behind the main building there. Check out our sign and all of the now-removed Black Locust trees that are behind it!
Invasive Clearing in Gratiot County
Galerucella (Purple Loosestrife) Beetles
As you may already know, last summer (2021) the CM-CISMA did a 42 mile survey of the Tittabawassee River to see what sort of changes came about after the dam failures and subsequent flooding of 2020. One of the things we found was that all the areas of dried up lakebed had become growing space for purple loosestrife, which meant hundred of new acres for it to spread to.
Instead of spraying the whole thing, since there are plenty of native things growing in that area too and taking out native species isn't really our thing, we decided to release some beetles in strategic locations. These beetles feed on nothing but loosestrife and should be able to reproduce and spread to the areas of the lake bed and river's edge that we don't end up directly releasing them at.