Monday, June 15, 2015

Register now for Isle Royale Botany Workshop Sept. 8-13

Prickly rose (Rosa acicularis). These flowers begin blooming in June on Isle Royale and by September are displaying bright red fruits (rose hips). (Photo courtesy Janet Marr)
HOUGHTON -- Experience four days in Lake Superior's Isle Royale National Park September 8 -13, 2015, and learn to identify the diverse plants that live on this incredible island!

Another special Botany Workshop, sponsored by the Isle Royale and Keweenaw Parks Association (IRKPA), and taught by botanist Janet Marr, is open to anyone with beginning/intermediate knowledge of plant identification who is interested in learning to identify the native flora of this species-rich Lake Superior island.

Rose hips, fruit of the prickly rose -- one of many native plants you may observe on Isle Royale in September. (Photo courtesy Janet Marr)

Workshop participants will spend four days on Isle Royale learning native plant species, using such tools as a dichotomous key and hand lens to identify plants. Other topics will include discussion of island plant communities, rare species, ecology, and invasive species. 

Most workshop activities will take place outdoors. Optional evening sessions will also be offered to review plants learned earlier.

REQUIREMENTS: Workshop participants should be able to walk up to 7 miles in one day with a daypack on rocky, sometimes steep, trails and bedrock, sometimes slippery, shoreline.

INSTRUCTOR: Botanist Janet Marr, the workshop instructor, has had many years of experience studying plants across Michigan’s Upper Peninsula and Isle Royale. Janet taught the 2007-2014 Isle Royale botany workshops and the recent June 8-13 Isle Royale workshop as well as many botany, aquatic, and wetland plant workshops in Michigan’s Keweenaw Peninsula. 

She is co-author of the Isle Royale Natural History Association's Island Life, an Isle Royale Nature Guide.

ENROLLMENT IS LIMITED TO 12 PARTICIPANTS: Past botany workshops have filled up very quickly so sign up soon! Contact Kristine Bradof at 906-482-7860 or to obtain more information about workshop registration or to register. Contact Janet Marr at 906-337-5529 or for details about the workshop.

MICHIGAN K-12 TEACHERS:  State Continuing Education Clock Hours (SCECHs) may be available by participating in the workshop.

COST: The fee for the botany workshop -- $725 per person ($25 discount for IRKPA members) covers instruction, camping, meals on the island, notebook, Slavick/Janke’s Flora of Isle Royale, and transportation to and from  Grand Portage, Minnesota, on the Voyageur II. See for information on becoming a IRKPA member. A $200 deposit is required to reserve your place in the workshop and may be sent to the Isle Royale and Keweenaw Parks Association, Attn:  Kristine Bradof, 800 Lakeshore Dr., Houghton, MI  49931.

A cancellation fee of $75 will be charged for cancellations between July 15 and August 15. There will be no refund for cancellations made on or after August 16 (although partial refunds after August 16 will be issued if a replacement participant is available).

LODGING/CAMPING: (Windigo area): Two lodging options at no cost are a group campsite and Adirondack-type shelters (the latter will very likely be available). In addition there are two Windigo camper cabins that we already have reserved. One of these cabins is available to the first person/group that commits to renting it (that person/group would set the terms, either paying the whole cost themselves or offering to share with others). The cabin sleeps up to 6, and rates for the cabin in 2014 were $54.45/night (and likely similar in 2015) no matter how many people (up to 6) stay there. Info about this cabin is at If you would like additional information or would like to rent the cabin, please contact Janet at 906-337-5529 or 

Field trips in the September 8-13 workshop near the southwest end of the Island will include the Windigo nature trail and trails to Huginnin Cove and along Washington Harbor to the Grace Creek overlook. Workshop attendees will meet in Grand Portage, Minnesota, on Tuesday (September 8) afternoon or evening and travel from Grand Portage to Windigo (on Isle Royale) on the Voyageur II on Wednesday (September 9). Participants will return to Grand Portage on the Voyageur II on Sunday (September 13).

NOTE:  It is also possible to reach Windigo from either Houghton or Copper Harbor, Michigan. You can fly from Houghton airport to Windigo on a seaplane. For info visit You can also take the Ranger III out from Houghton or the Isle Royale Queen IV from Copper Harbor. Both go to Rock Harbor -- and then you can take the Voyageur II from Rock Harbor to Windigo. Website addresses for each of these boats are below:

Ranger III:

Isle Royale Queen IV:

Voyageur II:

If you decide to leave from either Houghton or Copper Harbor, you may contact Kristine at 906-482-7860 or  so that she can adjust the workshop registration fee to remove the Grand Portage to Windigo transportation cost.

For information about Isle Royale National Park, see their home page at or call 906-482-0984.

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