Sunday, April 26, 2015

"Tickle bees" at Buhr


You may have seen this video about "tickle bees" at an elementary school in Portland, OR.
These are stngless, solitary native bees that nest in bare soil (in this case a school playground. ) For several years the Oregon children have been playing with them in early Spring, and call them "tickle bees". (Scientist call them Adrena sp.)

We are lucky to have some of these amazing insects in the Buhr Park Childrens Wet Meadows.They especially like the bare soil in the upper basin of Wet Meadow II.(This is behind the swimming pool, closest to the ice rink.)

Have you seen their  little cones and dirt piles? This time of year, you may also see males cruising about 12 - 14 inches above the ground. (There's a great shot of this in the Oregon video.) Sunny days are best to see the bees in flight.

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Prescribed burn scheduled for April 6, 2015

The annual prescribed ecological burn at the Childrens Wet Meadow in Ann Arbor's Buhr Park was a great success! The event, on Monday, April 6, 2015, focused on the northernmost basin (near Essex Street.)  More than 50 children, parents, neighbors and others enjoyed seeing the flames from a safe distance. Staff from the Natural Area Presevation Division of the City of Ann Arbor explained the purpose of burning and the safety measures that are intrinsic to their efforts. Watch this space for photos (and maybe a video clip) coming soon.

Monday, July 21, 2014

Volunteer Stewardship Event

Friday, July 25, 6:30-8:30pm
(north end of gravel parking lot)
*Learn about this project that provides a habitat for native plants and animals,
an attractive educational site for children, neighbors and other visitors, an environmental filter for storm water runoff from the park grounds, and most recently, a model for exploring
the integration of native plants and food production.  
*Tour the 3 wet meadows and the new food forest.
*Dig in and help spread woodchips, pull weeds, plant, mulch. Bring your favorite tools;  
gardening attire recommended.
*Bring family, friends and neighbors. All ages welcome.
Refreshments provided. Bring your own drinking cup.  
For more information or to learn more about the project: email or call -

Sunday, July 13, 2014

Wet Meadow Two - 10th Anniversary!

A team of teens and community volunteers planned and planted the second wet meadow in Buhr Park 10 years ago this summer. It is getting along famously and servings its purposes of capturing rainwater that falls in the park and nearby neighborhoods and making the park a more interesting place for people and critters of all shapes and sizes.

The most interesting feature of wet meadow 2 is the sand zone at the north end. When excavating we were surprised to discover such a sandy area. It has turned out to be a wonderful habitat for cacti, bluestem, and killer wasps.

Sunday, June 29, 2014

Butterfly Observations

A local expert in butterfly identification visited the wet meadows recently, with particular attention to the sandy upper basin behind the swimming pool.

He saw cabbage white, long dash, Peck's skipper, Ringlet, red admiral, silver-spotted skipper, and banded hairstreak butterflies. The banded hairstreaks were visiting the butterfly weed.

Monday, March 17, 2014

2014 Wet Meadow Burn - April 9

The 15th annual Wet Meadow Burn took place in Buhr Park on April 9. At about 5:00 PM the NAP crew lead by Tina, lit up Wet Meadow 3. 
City of Ann Arbor natural area program staff conduct the annual prescribed burn of the wet meadows.

This year we burned Wet Meadow 2, Wet Meadow 3, the parking lot swale, and several other native plantings. We are hoping to burn Wet Meadow 1 and Wet Meadow 1 extension later in the spring to help control crown vetch.

Burns help manage native landscapes by clearing out old growth, fighting back non-native plants that are not fire-adapted, and preparing the ground for spring growth.

Sunday, March 17, 2013

Come celebrate on Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Join us to welcome Spring with the annual prescribed burn at Buhr Park Children's Wet Meadow! Starting at mid-afternoon, trained experts from the City of Ann Arbor's Natural Area Program will explain safety measures, then ignite last year’s dry stems and leaves.

One parent says, "It's quite a sight - my daughter has gone to prescribed burns from age 2 and loves them. I think it's quite safe for kids of any age if they're with a parent."

Although burning may seem destructive, fire actually serves to stimulate vigorous new growth of native plants, controls the invasion of undesirable plants, warms the soil and releases nutrients. Fire allows diverse native plant and animal communities to thrive in natural areas.

After the fire is safely out, children will scatter seeds that were collected last Fall, and dance or sing to encourage new growth. In a few weeks the meadows will be springing back to life, better than ever.

If the weather permits, consider bringing a picnic supper. Come and go when you like. The event is free and open to the public. Buhr Park is in east Ann Arbor, at 2751 Packard (on the north side of the street) between Eisenhower and Platt. Children must be accompanied by a parent.