Monday, November 15, 2010

Wet Meadow 1 Extension and Path

This fall, the City of Ann Arbor reconstructed the path from Easy Street into Buhr Park. The new sidewalk replaces one that had been sitting in the lowest part of the park. The reconstructed path goes has been re-routed so that it is a little higher and it also allows for expansion of Wet Meadow 1.

Originally, the first wet meadow was going to be in this location, but because of the existing sidewalk (now removed) and a shallow underground drain tile, Wet Meadow 1 was built just to the north.

During construction, the Super Swampers investigated where the drain tile was located by finding the west and east catch basins.

The new design also includes a grass path between wet meadow 1 and the expansion, sometimes called 1b.

Saturday, September 25, 2010

Blooming in Wet Meadow 3

As we move into Autumn, a few late blooming wildflowers are easy to see. In the newest wet meadow, Helenium has clusters of bright yellow blossoms.

The purple flowers of New England aster are also prominent.

Look closely and you may spot an insect getting a late meal of pollen or nectar.

Here's a video (from someone in Pennsylvania) of bees on Helenium:

Sunday, September 19, 2010

People, Parks and Water Quality

It's useful to remember that the Buhr Park Childrens' Wet Meadow Project had its origins in concern for water quality in Malletts Creek and the Huron River. While the park is perhaps a half mile away from the creek, they are linked by underground storm drains.

About 2004, some teenagers and a stormwater expert prepared a plan to capture 100% of the rain water that falls on the park. It felt like it might take 10 or 20 years to achieve that goal.
In fact, with the May 2010 planting of the northern wet meadow, and continuing efforts at Allen School, we are very close.

You can always visit the creek, using the entrance to Mary Beth Doyle Park on Packard, just southeast of Buhr. For a special event, join us there on Saturday, October 23. We will be planting seeds.

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Kids Saw Pollinators Up Close on Aug 28

Our third annual “Kids See Pollinators Up Close” event at Buhr Park took place on Saturday, August 28, 2010, from 3 to 5 PM. More than 20 parents, gandparents and children learned about beneficial insects.

Children captured live insects for safe, up-close observation. (All were released at the end of the program.) We also talked about how to be safe around insects.

Our presenter th
is year was Annie Kirk, from the Berry Crops Entomology Lab at MSU. Kick grew up in the fruit-growing areas of West Michigan, and has recently co-authored an article on blueberry pollination in the Journal of Applied Ecology.

The meadows were ablaze with wildflowers – prairie dock, stiff goldenrod and other natives are at the height of their annual display. Many beneficial insects were drinking nectar and were easy to observe.

The event was co-sponsored by City of Ann Arbor Natural Area Preservation and Wild Ones – Native Plants, Native Landscapes. Thanks to Jeannine Palms for great photos.

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Wildflowers are blooming in WM 3

Many of the wildflowers that neighbors planted last May in the newest war meadow are already blooming! These are very healthy plants, planted with care, and they're happy in their new home.


There are many white bonesets and blue vervain. Also one very showy ironweed.

Also, the trees planted throughout the park by Rotary in June are doing well. (Most years we'd be watching to see if new trees need supplemental watering about this time, but this year's frequent rains have taken care of it for us.)

I especially like the two hop-hornbeams (Ostrya) near the Eagle Scout bench.

Sunday, July 11, 2010

Persimmon and wild plum in the Graduate Grove

Each year we plant native trees or shrubs to honor our new high school graduates. This year, we planted wild plums and persimmons.

Here's a persimmon seedling.

With financial support from the Wildflower Assn. of Michigan, we hope to plant more native shrubs in September, including blueberries.

Saturday, June 19, 2010

Berries are Ripe

Wild raspberries are ripening! There are many growing in and around the Palace of Nature, on the west side of WM II.

Also, the serviceberries (aka juneberries, Amelancier spp.) planted last year are ripe. The ripe berries are purple, not red. Most have a single large seed. I hear that you can make a great-tasting jelly with these.

Thanks to Mike Levine at Nature and Nurture for healthy stock and reliable advice.

Here's a photo.

Sunday, June 6, 2010

WM III rides out the big storm

The recently-planted wet meadow basin at the northwest part of Buhr Park appears to have functioned as designed during last night's big storm. You can see that a considerable volume of water flowed from Essex Street into the northwest part of the basin.

You can see water standing in the basin at about noon today (Sunday). This view is looking North, towards Allan School.

On the downhill (southeast) side, towards the gravel parking lot, it's clear that water flowed through the spillway, as it is designed to do in heavy downpours.

Monday, May 24, 2010

Wet Meadow Planting Photo Stream

Planting Wildflowers in the Sunshine

The planting celebration on Sunday, May 23, was a family affair! Kids, parents, and grandparents from near and far planted wildflowers at Buhr Park.

Kids of all ages had fun while learning to work together on a project that will catch rainwater and add beauty to the park.

Monday, May 3, 2010

Wet Meadow III - Planting Day Details

Come help plant Buhr Park's latest environmentally-friendly, stormwater-drinking, critter habitat-building, wet meadow.

Sunday May 23, 2010
10AM to 4PM

Feel free to come for the whole day or just a few minutes or hours. We've got 3,000 plants coming, but many hands makes light work.

Please Bring

  • Yourselves
  • Your children, parents, friends and neighbors
  • Small trowel or shovel for digging
  • Water bottle (free refills!)
  • Sun protection
And please leave pets at home.

Schedule for Planting Day activities
  • 10am - 4pm

  • 10am
    Sun Salutation with Victoria Cendrowski, neighbor and yoga instructor
    Seed dance
  • 11:30
    Milkweed Puppet Show with Leah and Rachel White
  • 11:30 - 1pm
    Pilar’s Tamale Cart open for food purchases (bring your own dishes so we don’t make waste)
  • 1pm
    Welcome ceremony
  • 2pm
    Tunes with Dale Petty
  • 3pm
  • 4pm
    Celebration parade
For more information, check out the Wet Meadow III - Overview.

Tuesday, April 20, 2010

Earth Day All Species Parade - Come Join the Milkweed Ecosystem

Super Swampers and other members of the wet meadow community will once again be participating in the All Species Parade at Ann Arbor's Earth Day Festival.

The earth day festival will be held on Sunday, April 25, 2010 Noon to 4 p.m. at Washtenaw Community College's Morris Lawrence building.

The wet meadow team will be there with our display focusing on recruiting people to come to the Wet Meadow III planting.

As usual, we'll be participating in the all species parade. We encourage people to come dressed as a milkweed or a member of the milkweed ecosystem. See the list of possibilities below, or check out the Milkweed Web of Life document.

  • Common Milkweed
  • Butterfly weed
  • Swamp Milkweed
  • bees (pollinators)
  • bumblebees
  • honey bees
  • green metallic bee
  • carpenter bees
  • gray striped "leaf-cutter" bees
  • wasps
  • Pompillid
  • spiders
  • Crab
  • butterflies/moths
  • Monarch
  • Milkweed Tussock Moth
  • Clear-wing hawkmoth
  • caterpillars
  • Monarch
  • Tussock
  • beetles
  • Long horned milkweed
  • Lady bug
  • bugs
  • Small milkweed bug- nymph
  • Small milkweed bug- adult
  • Large milkweed bug- nymph
  • Large milkweed bug- adult
  • Milkweed assassin bug
  • flies
  • Tachinid flies
  • ants
  • aphids
  • Orioles
  • Goldfinches

Wednesday, April 7, 2010

Prescribed Burn A Great Success on Thursday, April 1, 2010

“Wet Meadow Burn”: Buhr Park Children’s Wet Meadow. City natural area program staff conducted the annual prescribed burn of the wet meadow on Thursday, April 1, 2010. “It’s quite a sight--my daughter has gone to prescribed burns since age 2 and loves them,” says one parent. “I think it’s quite safe for kids of any age if they’re with a parent.”

Dozens of kids and parents showed up to help collect seeds and learn about how this helps wildflowers, birds, butterflies and other creatures. Stop by in a week or so to see new growth sprouting from the deep roots of our native plants. Buhr Park, 2751 Packard 48104. Free. 971-5870

(These photos are from past years; we'll have new ones soon.)

Saturday, March 13, 2010

Wet Meadow Team and Allen School Receive Grants

The Buhr Park Children's Wet Meadow Project and Allen Elementary School received grants from the Wildflower Association of Michigan last weekend to purchase native plants for the Buhr Park/Allen School area.

Allen School received funds to purchase plants for a butterfly garden as part of the nature area on the south side of the school.

The Wet Meadow Project will use the grant money to buy woody plants for the area called the Palace of Nature, next to Wet Meadow II.

On hand in Lansing to receive the grants were Clare, Sophia (for the Wet Meadow team) and Dave Corsa (for Allen School).

Sunday, February 28, 2010

Wet Meadow III - Overview

Wet Meadow III will be just to the south of the paved path from Essex Road to Allen School. As its name implies, it will be the third wet meadow in Buhr Park.

Construction of Wet Meadow III is taking part in two phases: hardscape & grading and planting. Hardscape and grading was completed in the fall of 2009 by the City of Ann Arbor. It will be planted by volunteers on May 23, 2010. More about Wet Meadow III Planting Day.

The overall project is being funding by the City of Ann Arbor as part of the parks improvement millage. The design was done by ECT in Ann Arbor. The site plan is available online. To orient yourself when looking at the site plan - Essex Road is at the left end of the path and Allen School is at the top center.