Wednesday, August 13, 2014

Conservation District, Partners to host Bete Grise Preserve celebration Aug. 17 at Point Isabelle

By Michele Bourdieu

Point Isabelle, seen here from a roadside park on the Gay Lac La Belle Road, is now part of the Bete Grise Preserve expansion, which will be celebrated at a Dedication Ceremony and Community Picnic hosted by the Houghton Keweenaw Conservation District and Partners on Sunday, Aug. 17. (Photos © and courtesy Gina Nicholas)

HOUGHTON -- Houghton Keweenaw Conservation District (HKCD) and Partners will celebrate the 10 Year Anniversary and recent expansion of the Bete Grise Preserve at 2 p.m. Sunday, Aug. 17, with a Dedication Ceremony and Community Picnic at Point Isabelle roadside park.

Directions: From US 41 and the Lac La Belle Road Intersection, travel 10.6 miles to the Point Isabelle roadside park on the Gay Lac La Belle Road. Watch for signs. Everyone is welcome, musicians will entertain, and Stewards of Bete Grise Preserve will provide refreshments. RSVP appreciated: Please call 906-482-0214.

This little Point Isabelle roadside park, which was previously on private land, and Point Isabelle add approximately 2.5 miles of natural beauty to the Bete Grise Preserve.

"Now it is totally protected for posterity," said Gina Nicholas, HKCD chairperson.

According to Nicholas, the new expansion gives the Bete Grise Preserve a total of 4,000 acres and about 5.5 miles of Lake Superior shoreline.

Besides Point Isabelle, other recent acquisitions to the Preserve include additional Bete Grise wetlands; the Mouth of the Little Gratiot River, which connects Gratiot Lake to Lac La Belle, thus preserving frontage on Lac La Belle; and Oliver Bay -- 2.2 miles of Lake Superior shoreline and 343 acres.*

Interior wetlands at the Lac La Belle sloughs, which are now protected as part of the Bete Grise Preserve.

"One of the new enhancements of the Preserve is the new botany trail with interpretive signs," Nicholas added.

The Bete Grise Preserve is open to the public for noninvasive recreation, research and education.

If you have any questions about the celebration, please call Sue Haralson, secretary, Stewards of Bete Grise Preserve, at 906-369-3400.

*Editor's Note: For more details on 2013 acquisitions for Bete Grise Preserve, see our June 25, 2013, article, "Conservation District purchase adds Point Isabelle, Bete Grise wetlands, Lac La Belle shoreline to Bete Grise Preserve."

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