Pull on your walking shoes and head out to discover the natural beauty of the Keweenaw Peninsula on October 6-7. Four local land conservation organizations will be on hand to "show off" their respective nature sanctuaries and provide information for visitors. In addition, Michigan Tech students will offer fun hands-on science and nature activities at each sanctuary.
The four sanctuaries ‘on display’ this weekend include the Michigan Nature Association‘s Redwyn Dunes in Keweenaw County, north of Eagle River; the Keweenaw Land Trust’s Paavola Wetlands just north of Hancock: the Copper Country Audubon Club’s Bailey Lake Wildlife Sanctuary, four miles north of Eagle Harbor in Keweenaw County near the start of Brockway Mountain Drive; and the Houghton-Keweenaw Conservation District’ crown jewel, the Bete Grise Preserve in Keweenaw County, south of Lac LaBelle. Volunteer stewards will be at each sanctuary to greet visitors, provide sanctuary maps, and answer questions.
A special bonus this weekend are the fun outdoor science and nature activities for families which Michigan Tech students will conduct at each sanctuary: In Search of Wildlife, Why Do Leaves Change Color and Making Autumn bookmarks, Plant Detectives, and Wonderful Wetlands!
To encourage families to visitmore than one nature sanctuary,each visitor can add their name to a drawing to be conducted at the end of each day at each sanctuary for a chance to receivefun nature prizes. Prizes will be mailed to the recipients. The more you hike, the better your chances of winning!
The Family Outdoor Weekend program is coordinated by the Western U.P. Center for Science, Mathematics and Environmental Education (www.wupcenter.mtu.edu), in partnership with the Michigan Nature Association, Keweenaw Land Trust, Copper Country Audubon Club, and Houghton-Keweenaw Conservation District. The Western U.P. Center offers a wide variety of programs for K-12 students, teachers, and communities to enhance the teaching and learning of math, science, and environmental education.
For more information on the Family Outdoor Weekend in the Keweenaw, contact Joan Chadde at 487-3341. No registration is needed for this event, and all activities are free.
Below are the directions and descriptions of each of the nature sanctuaries.
1) Redwyn Dunes Nature Sanctuary
Directions: Follow M-26 about 3.5 miles north of Eagle River or 4 miles south of Eagle Harbor. The trailhead is across from Great Sand Bay and has a large sign marking the entrance.Description: Redwyn Dunes Nature Sanctuary offers a pleasant one-mile hike that loops around several dune ponds. These catch basins fill in the spring and are home to many breeding frogs and toads. In spring and fall, these basins make a favorite overnight stop for migrating geese and other water fowl. The area is rich in wildlife as evidenced by the abundant wildlife sign. There are also several unique plant communities which contain club mosses, lichen, trailing arbutus, dwarf blueberry, holly, bearberry and cranberries. Hudsonia tomentosa, also called false heather or beach heather, adorns the open dunes, sometimes buried by the shifting sand. Activity: In Search of Wildlife Ownership: Michigan Nature Association www.michigannature.org
Trail Contact: email@example.com Tel: (517) 655-5655
2) Paavola Wetlands Preserve
Directions: From Hancock, take US-41 north past Hancock to the yellow blinking light on Quincy Hill. Travel about 1.5 miles to the No.9 Road where several roads intersect, including Pontiac Road and Boston Road. Turn right onto No.9 Road, just before the new business, and travel 0.6 miles to the small trailhead parking area on the left side of the road.Description: This preserve is home to beaver, frogs, turtles, wild iris and cattails, and the call of the red-winged blackbird can be heard. A 15-acre pond is surrounded by sedges, grasses, rushes, sweet gale and willow. Succession to upland species can be observed with gentle rises in elevation to stands of mixed northern hardwoods studded with large white pine. The preserve was established through the generosity of the Copper Country Masonic Lodge No. 135 in Hancock, and community funds, including a major donation from Sharon Emley and Don Arkin.Activity: Why Do Leaves Change Color and Making Autumn bookmarks Ownership: Keweenaw Land Trust
Trail Contact: www.KeweenawLandTrust.org Tel: (906) 482-0820
3) Lake Bailey Wildlife Sanctuary
Directions: From US-41, take the Eagle Harbor cutoff road a few miles past Phoenix. The sanctuary is located 4 miles east of Eagle Harbor, just before Brockway Mountain Drive. Look for sign and parking area on south side of road.Description: The sanctuary has a two-mile loop trail that passes through several different forest communities as it rises about 200 feet in elevation to a beautiful overlook of the wild Silver River drainage to the southeast. The sanctuary is entirely wooded with a mixture of northern conifers and hardwoods, including red and sugar maple, balsam fir, white and yellow birch, white pines, red oak, white spruce, aspen and white cedar. The first part of the trail passes through a white cedar bog with yellow and pink ladyslippers which bloom in early to mid June. Activity: Plant Detectives Ownership: Michigan Audubon Society/Copper Country Audubon
Trail Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org Tel: (906) 487-2149
4) Bete Grise Preserve
Directions: From Calumet, follow US-41 north to the Lac La Belle turnoff, and travel through Lac La Belle about 12 miles to the Bete Grise Preserve. Look for a sign on the left in the parking lot. From Lake Linden, take the Gay/Lac La Belle Road, about 16 miles from Gay and 2 miles past Point Isabelle.Description: The Bete Grise Preserve is 1104 acres of pristine dune-swale wetlands, including 7500 feet of Lake Superior shoreline and the Lac La Belle sloughs rich in flora and fauna: bald eagles, sandhill cranes, blueberries, cranberries, migratory song birds, bear, deer, moose, fur bearers, amphibians, orchids, and carnivorous plants. This preserve was made possible through the work of dedicated Houghton-Keweenaw Conservation District partners: The Nature Conservancy, Keweenaw Land Trust, South Shore Association, many individuals; and a $451,117 Grant from Michigan Department of Environmental Quality and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Great Lakes Coastal Restoration.Activity: Wonderful Wetlands! Ownership: Houghton Keweenaw Conservation District
Trail Contact: email@example.com Tel: (906) 482-0214
Download PDF Brochure with Map
Family Outdoor Weekend in the Keweenaw!
1) Encourage families to spend time outside with their children by providing fun outdoor science and nature activities, raffle prizes, well-marked ‘kid-friendly’ trails, and greeters at each sanctuary.
2) Increase awareness of local residents about the variety of land conservation organizations working to protect natural areas in Houghton & Keweenaw counties.
3) Increase awareness of local residents of the variety of sanctuaries offering interesting geology and natural features that are open for non-motorized, public enjoyment, education, and recreation.
4) Increase a sense of local appreciation and stewardship by enhancing knowledge and enjoyment of local sanctuaries/natural areas.
2007 Sanctuaries to be visited
¨Paavola Wetlands – Keweenaw Land Trust
¨Lake Bailey Wildlife Sanctuary – Copper Country Audubon
¨Bete Grise Preserve – Houghton-Keweenaw Conservation District
¨Redwyn Dunes Nature Sanctuary – Michigan Nature Association
Each organization will provide two prizes per sanctuary (prizes may include nature guides, magnifiers, gift certificates, posters, and more)! Families can increase their chance of winning by visiting all FOUR sanctuaries! A drawing will be held at the end of each day by the sponsoring organization at each site, and the prize will be mailed to the winner. The sanctuary steward at each site will enter one raffle ticket per visitor.
Hands-On Outdoor Science & Nature Activities for Kids!!
Michigan Tech students will conduct hands-on science and/or nature activities along the trail at each sanctuary.
Paavola Wetlands – Why Leaves Change Color (make a colorful leaf bookmark)
¨Lake Bailey Wildlife Sanctuary – Plant, Animal or Mushroom?
¨Bete Grise Preserve – Wonders of Wetlands
¨Redwyn Dunes Nature Sanctuary – Wildlife Detectives
Sanctuary Stewards - responsibilities
¨ Each organization will provide a steward at each sanctuary trailhead to greet families and provide trail maps and sanctuary information.
¨ Stewards will manage the raffle.
¨ Stewards will collect attendance info: family name, address, number attending
Western Upper Peninsula Center for Science, Math & Environmental Education
Michigan Nature Association
Keweenaw Land Trust
Houghton-Keweenaw Conservation District (Gina Nicholas, Sue Haralson)
Copper Country Audubon Club