The Conservancy has decided to place approximately 100 acres of the farmland at Riverview Natural Area for sale under a conservation easement. This farmland has been leased to local farmers in previous years, by selling this land with a conservation easement allows us to continue to protect the natural and agricultural heritage of the land while focusing our resources on the rest of Riverview, the other four preserves open to the public, as well as new projects.
We are looking for conservation-minded potential buyers to participate in a closed bid process. If you are interested in obtaining a bid packet, please click here – Farmland Sale Bid Packet. Bids are due by noon on January 9, 2019.
If you have any questions, please call Elan or Greg at our office at 989-835-4886
This year we are taking some time to get out into the preserves with the community. Whether it is to learn about a creature or plant in the preserve or to share the unique beauty of each preserve with community members.
May 17th 6:00pm — Wildflowers at Szok with Chippewa Nature Center- join Interpretive Naturalist Jeanne Henderson from the Chippewa Nature Center for a hike to observe the native wildflowers!
May 24th 5:00pm — Vernal Pool Hike at Riverview Natural Area with Sara – Join Sara at Riverview to hike the first loop and explore the vernal pools near the trail. Sara will go into the importance of the vernal pools and which animals rely on them to survive. Wear waterproof boots.
June 19th 6:30pm — Dog Hike at Riverview Natural Area – Meet Little Forks Staff members and their dogs! We invite community members to have a puppy play date and hike through Riverview. We ask to keep dogs on a leash during this hike. People without dogs are welcome to join as well.
June 28th 7:00pm — Sunset Hike and Campfire with AmeriCorps Member Ted at Riverview Natural Area – Meet Ted at the Riverview north entrance off of 5 Mile Road where he will lead a hike near sunset and end with a campfire where he will share stories of backpacking adventures and others are welcome to share their adventure stories with the group. Bring a chair/blanket, flash light or headlamp.
July 19th 6:30pm — Senior Services Social at Averill Preserve with Andrea- Join Senior Services and Little Forks Conservancy for a walk along the new trail. Contact Andrea for more details.
July 21st 10:30am — Salamander Hike at Riverview Natural Area with Interpretive Naturalist Michelle Fournier from the Chippewa Nature Center to look under logs and learn how to use the app Herp Atlas!
July 25th 5:00pm — Averill Preserve Hike – Join Little Forks Staff to see the completed all access path and all the new features.
August 11th 10am Ferns & Fungi at Forestview Natural Area with Chippewa Nature Center- join Interpretive Naturalist Jeanne Henderson from the Chippewa Nature Center for a hike to observe the variety of ferns and fungus growing at Forestview
September 13th 6:00pm — Tour the New Preserve in Gladwin County! – Come take a look at the newest preserve at Little Forks Conservancy. A staff member will show you the progress so far and what to look forward to in the coming years.
October 19th 5:00pm — Fall Color Hike at Forestview Natural Area- As the weather cools off, join us at Forestview to take in all the fall foliage.
Little Forks hopes the entire community will get out to the preserves for at least one of these hikes and finds something new to enjoy right outside of the city.
Little Forks’ Stewardship Coordinator, Sara, is excited to expand the workshop series she started last year as an AmeriCorps member.
“We had three workshops surrounding stewardship last summer and it was a success!” said Sara “I look forward to developing this program further in the future.”
This summer we will provide four workshops covering a variety of topics that were chosen based on a survey sent around to volunteers.
These workshops are free but space is limited; only 20 spots available at Office workshops
Hello! My name is Ted and I’m the newest blog poster (and Land Steward) here at Little Forks. I come to Little Forks through the Huron Pines AmeriCorps program, which provides service members to more than a dozen organizations and government offices in Michigan.
Coming to Little Forks and Michigan has been quite the experience– there are so many new people to meet and places to learn about. There are times when everything seems different, and that can be disorienting. I always find reassurance, however, in knowing that I have something extremely important in common with folks here at Little Forks. Even you, no matter who you are out there reading this post, most likely share this tenet: we care about the environment!
So it makes sense to begin my introduction with our commonality: why I care about the health of our planet. For me it began growing up in Newington, Connecticut, a suburb of Hartford. My childhood was spent building boats with my friends on Piper Brook (turns out all you need is plywood and caulk…lots of caulk), going for hikes on the Metacomet Trail with my dad (or “forced marches” as my brother and I affectionately called them), and making a yearly pilgrimage with my mom and cousins to Nickerson State Park on the Cape.
I went to college at Clark University in Worcester, Massachusetts, and spent the spring and summer of my junior year thru-hiking the Appalachian Trail (yes I got credit and yes I received a stipend for the project. Clark is amazing!). What blew me away on the hike (besides the endless panoramic views) was that the 2,000+ miles of trail I walked was on unbroken conservation land. I spent an extra year at school digging deeper into conservation, writing a research paper about land management strategies in Worcester.
Through all of these experiences I have developed an affinity for our natural world that extends beyond the science of biodiversity or carbon sequestration. For me, the objective need for good stewardship of our Earth has lined up with a deep personal relationship. I’m pretty sure that those two ingredients combine to make something called passion!
Anyways, I arrive here in Midland, ready to learn the ins and outs of Michigan (c’s that sound like w’s? Driving 72 mph is slow?), and pursue my passion with a year of service at Little Forks! I’ll finish by asking you the question I’ve asked myself in this post: why do you care about the environment, and why do you support Little Forks?
Imagine not being able to stand on the banks of the Tittabawassee River to watch a bald eagle swoop by — or not having the chance to cross the path of a turtle meandering along as you explore a trail.
Many people in our community can’t enjoy those sights at Little Forks Conservancy’s Preserves because they aren’t physically able to hike the grass or trails.
“Visitors who enjoy Midland County Parks’ new accessible parking area and shelter on the boundary of the Averill Preserve may not be able to experience this beautiful preserve just steps away,” said Board President Jon DeGroot.
Thanks to donations from local foundations and members like you, Little Forks Conservancy has changed that.
At the Averill Preserve, we've added a hard surface trail to enable people with wheelchairs or families with strollers to easily explore the beautiful, historic preserve. The All Access Path leads to a open area with a Nature Play Area for children to explore nature in a safe place.
As part of this project:
Jon added, “We believe that this project will add to County Parks’ investment and create an inviting experience for all visitors to these properties.”
Once the largest timber banking grounds in the world, the property has been restored over many years to its current state.
“Of all our properties, the Averill Preserve has been the most impacted by previous uses of the land,” said Elan Lipschitz, director of land conservation. “I’m very excited about some of the opportunities for habitat restoration we have planned along the new trail.