Why is this Preserve Significant?
Within this 700-acre preserve, a wet, spring-fed prairie blends in to a floodplain forest to create a globally significant fen habitat. Fens are unusual, and increasingly rare, wetlands that receive water from underground alkaline springs rather than from precipitation. The water from this fen flows in rivulets through the thick grasses of the preserve, which help to filter the water before it empties into the River Raisin at the preserve's eastern edge. The River Raisin is one of the best warm water rivers in the state, and three of the four local communities downstream draw all of their drinking water from this river.
Historically, most of the land in this preserve had been impacted by human activity including agriculture, sand and gravel mining, and drainage ditches. However, thanks to thousands of volunteer hours by local community members over the last two decades, this preserve is now largely restored to its natural state.
What can I see here?
The fen is home to many rare plants, including the carnivorous sundew and pitcher plant, as well as the showy coneflower, prairie dropseed grass, tuberous Indian plantain, hairy-fruited sedge, beak grass, and prairie rose. In the upland areas, be sure to listen for the tree frog, the rare Blanchard’s cricket frog and a chorus of migratory and breeding birds such as the yellow-breasted chat, blue-winged warbler, and alder flycatcher. Also, be on the lookout for the eastern massasauga rattlesnake, a federally-listed threatened species and Michigan's only venomous snake.