Saturday, July 05, 2014

Gratiot Lake Conservancy to sponsor Keweenaw summer events

Kayakers on Gratiot Lake. The Gratiot Lake Conservancy will sponsor a Guided Kayak Tour of Gratiot Lake on Sunday, Aug. 3, 2014. The tour is one of several events sponsored the conservancy this summer. (Photo courtesy Gratiot Lake Conservancy)

GRATIOT LAKE -- Gratiot Lake Conservancy (GLC) in Keweenaw County has announced several summer events, including their Annual Members Meeting, a Guided Kayak Tour of Gratiot Lake, a  Mini Open House at Noblet Field Station, a Freshwater Mussels Workshop, a Wetland Plant ID Workshop (already fully enrolled, but you can email to be waitlisted), a Walk at Bammert Farm, and a Shoreline Clean-up at Gratiot Lake.

Little Brown Bat affected by Whitenose syndrome. Wildlife Biologist Bill Scullon will present a slide talk about Keweenaw bats at the Gratiot Lake Conservancy's Annual Members Meeting on July 24 at the Eagle Harbor Community Building. (U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service photo courtesy Gratiot Lake Conservancy)

GLC's Annual Members Meeting will take place on Thursday, July 24, at the Eagle Harbor Community Building. The event begins with a Meet and Greet at 6:45 p.m., followed by the Business Meeting at 7 p.m. At 7:30 p.m. refreshments will be served. At 8 p.m. Department of Natural Resources (DNR) Wildlife Biologist Bill Scullon will present a slide talk about bats within the Keweenaw ecosystem, threats to their survival, and how we can protect them.

UPDATE: The GLC meeting is open to members and others interested in learning about the work GLC does. The Bat presentation is open to the public. Those interested in attending only that portion should arrive at 7:45 p.m. for the 8 p.m. presentation.

A Freshwater Mussels Workshop with Joe Rathbun, an environmental scientist with the Michigan Deptartment of Environmental Quality (MDEQ) in Lansing, will be held from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday, Aug. 16, at the Noblet Field Station and Gratiot Lake.

MDEQ scientist Joe Rathbun clamming at Gratiot Lake. (Photo courtesy Gina Nicholas)

This one-day workshop will cover the identification of mussels found in inland lakes and rivers in the Keweenaw Peninsula and nearby counties. A slide talk and short mussel identification practice session at the conservancy’s Noblet Field Station will be followed by a hands-on mini-survey at Gratiot Lake. The importance of mussels to the ecology of lakes and streams, tips on identifying mussels, and the usefulness of mussel surveys in helping to determine the health of aquatic systems will be discussed.

Pyganodon grandis filtering. (Photo courtesy Joe Rathbun)

Cost of the workshop is $35 ($25 for GLC members). This workshop is suitable for anyone with an interest in biology and ecology -- professionals and students in the fields of biology and ecology as well as lay people interested in learning more about life in Keweenaw lakes and how to protect aquatic ecosystems. Class size is limited and advance enrollment is required. Click here for details.

The Wetland Plant Identification Workshop with botanist Janet Marr will take place from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, Aug. 23-24, 2014, near Eagle Harbor on the Keweenaw Peninsula. This workshop is fully enrolled and has a wait list.

Workshop activities will take place mostly out-of-doors. Visits will be made to local wetlands including swamp forests, shrub thickets, and more open community types such as marshes and fens. Native wetland plant species, including more difficult groups (sedges, grasses, rushes, aster relatives), will be identified. Selected non-native invasive wetland species will also be identified. Characteristics of selected plant families will be discussed, botanical terms will be defined, dichotomous keys will be used when appropriate, and wetland community types will be described.

The fee for this 2-day workshop is $80 ($60 for Gratiot Lake Conservancy members). Fee includes a field notebook. Janet Avery Scholarships are available. If you are a MICHIGAN K-12 TEACHER with a professional certificate you can earn 12 SCECHS (pending) when you participate in this workshop. Email Bonnie Hay at belh@verizon.net if you wish to be put on the waitlist. Click here for details.

A Mini Open House at Noblet Field Station and a Guided Kayak Tour of Gratiot Lake will be held on Sunday, Aug. 3, weather permitting.

The Kayak Tour will be led by nature educator Brian Rajdl, beginning at 9:30 a.m. at the public boat launch. The group will make a stop at Noblet Field Station for lunch (bring a bag lunch and water -- there will be additional water and light refreshments) and an optional walk on the trails. At 1 p.m. they will continue paddling from the Noblet Field Station past the Gratiot Lake Preserve on the south shore and on to visit the new GLC sanctuary on the west end of the lake. They will return to the boat launch at 3:30 p.m.

The Mini Open House will be from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Noblet Field Station. See the Noblet cabin and walk the Bear Paw Path. There will be light snacks and beverages available. Click here for details.

Fritellary on Black-eyed-susan. Explore details of nature like this on the Walk at Bammert Farm Aug. 30. (Photo courtesy Gratiot Lake Conservancy)

A Walk at Bammert Farm will be held from 9 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Aug. 30. Join botanist Janet Marr and GLC director Bonnie Hay to explore red pine plantation and mixed hardwood forest and wetlands in this 466-acre parcel which is not often open to the public. Click here for details. Call Bonnie at 337-5476 to reserve your space.

A Shoreline Clean-up at Gratiot Lake will be held from 9:30 a.m. to noon on Saturday, Sept. 20.

For more information about the Gratiot Lake Conservancy and more photos of their work, visit their Web site.

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