On Saturday, September 9, 2023, On the Ground (OTG) will co-host another stewardship work day with the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) and the City of Portage Parks and Recreation Department at Gourdneck State Game Area (SGA) in Kalamazoo County. Volunteers are needed on Saturday, September 9 from 9:00 AM to noon to help cut invasive buckthorn from the SGA to help restore prairie fen habitat.
Common buckthorn is a woody invasive that has spread throughout Michigan and is detrimental to our natural community. Buckthorn blooms early in the spring allowing it to out-compete other native plants that wildlife depend on for food. Buckthorn is spread by wildlife who eat their fruit and distribute the seeds all across the state. This woody invasive can greatly affect sensitive habitats such as the unique prairie fen habitat located at Gourneck SGA.
Prairie fens are a type of wetland that are extremely difficult to restore if destroyed. This habitat type has the potential to boast diverse communities of both wetland and prairie plants. Fens also provide suitable habitat for many species of wildlife including reptiles like the massasauga rattlesnake and the eastern box turtle which are becoming increasingly rare in Michigan due to habitat fragmentation and degradation.
Join us in protecting this unique habitat. Please click HERE to register for this event. Hope to see you there!