On May 7, volunteers from local Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts troops, along with members of St. Paul's Episcopal Church in Marquette, will spend their Saturday morning building a trail at The Nature Conservancy’s Echo Lake Nature Preserve.
As part of St. Paul’s Christian Education Program, “Angels Echoing in the Wind,” the youth ministry asked its members to join them by volunteering to rake the trail, make snacks or just cheer on their work. The young members built a topographical model of the Echo Lake Nature Preserve to help them plan the project.
“We have an opportunity to help create a trail from the road to a high point, atop a mountain where we can feel the wind, reconnect with the ‘better angels of our nature’ and offer our community a path to enjoy views of Echo Lake and Lake Superior in the distance,” said Kayla West, St. Paul’s member and one of the coordinators of the project.
Echo Lake, as well as other open and undeveloped land, provides vital habitat for many species of plants and wildlife to thrive in a natural state. This unique area provides excellent habitat to a diverse range of plant and wildlife species including purple cliff-brake, narrow-leaved gentian, and big-leaf sandwort, plus a variety of nesting neotropical migratory birds (alder flycatcher, black-throated blue and green warbler, and magnolia warbler). The property also contains significant stands of relatively mature northern hardwood/eastern hemlock forest types that offers crucial “thermal cover” for large mammals (white-tailed deer and moose) in harsh Upper Peninsula winters.
Just minutes from Marquette, this land will be open for foot access and activities such as hiking, snowshoeing, bird watching, carry-in boating and catch-and-release fishing. The new sanctuary was made possible through a land gift from the J.A. Woollam Foundation and will be protected by a conservation easement held by the Michigan Nature Association (MNA), a partner of The Nature Conservancy.
“I am very impressed with all three groups -- by their enthusiasm and work ethic, as well as their appreciation of the environment's importance,” said Tina Hall, director of conservation programs in Michigan for The Nature Conservancy. “It’s nice to see so many young people demonstrate such a tremendous amount of character and conscience.”
St Paul’s Mission is to empower our community to experience a loving, trusting relationship as pilgrims and heralds of the Risen Lord. The organization ministers to diverse people's spiritual, emotional, and physical needs by worshiping and fulfilling stewardship responsibilities.
The Nature Conservancy is a leading conservation organization working around the world to protect ecologically important lands and waters for nature and people. The Conservancy and its more than 1 million members have protected nearly 120 million acres worldwide. Visit The Nature Conservancy on the Web at www.nature.org.
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