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.