Monday, August 18, 2014

Field Trip - Alyce J. Peterson Natural Area, Mecosta County, MI

On Saturday (16 August 2014) a group of five met at the Alyce J. Peterson Natural Area for a wildflower walk.  Peterson Natural Area is a preserve owned by the the Chippewa Watershed Conservancy.  It is located along the north side of 11 Mile Rd, between 180th Avenue and 185th Avenue near the village of Stanwood in Mecosta County, MI.

Alyce J. Peterson Natural Area - map from the Chippewa Watershed Conservancy website

This preserve was established in 2008.  It was donated by the estate of Alyce Peterson who wished the property to become a wildlife preserve.  The property is mostly old farm fields.  A small creek bisects the property running from the northeast corner to the southwest corner.  This creek is narrow enough to jump across in most places.  It flows into the Muskegon River less than a half mile from the western property line.

Many of the plants that we found are the weedy species that you would expect to find in abandoned fields, but there were also many wetland species growing along the creek. While this property is bit of a drive from Mt. Pleasant it is well worth visiting this time of year.

Here are some photos from our walk.

Nicole LeVasseur, Cathy Murray, and Ralph Crew look up Cut-leaf Coneflower (Rudbeckia laciniata)

Several apple trees can be found on the property

Goldenrod Soldier Beetle on Cut-leaf Coneflower



Ralph Crew and CWC Exceutive Director Stan Lilley observing birds

Katydid on Spotted Joe-pye Weed

Cut-leaf Coneflower and Spotted Joe-pye Weed

Common Boneset (white) and Spotted Joe-pye Weed (pink/purple)

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