HRWC Field Volunteers Enjoy Watershed Gem

South Lake. Photo: Glenn R. Hieber,

An enthusiastic group of HRWC field assessors, who have been volunteering with HRWC’s Bioreserve Project over the summer, were rewarded Saturday, August 18, with a guided walk through one of the watershed’s many high quality ecosystems, the wet-mesic prairie on the north side of South Lake, in the Pinckney Recreation Area.

One of some 27 different ecosystems found in the watershed, a wet-mesic prairie occurs on moist, low lying areas that frequently experience flooding.  The South Lake prairie (and South Lake itself) is part of a kettle depression created as the glaciers retreated around 10,000 years ago.

Sally Rutzky, HRWC volunteer and Michigan Botanical Club member, led the group and identified over 30 different plant species.  The group also encountered a number of wildlife, including praying mantii and a large, very cool looking spider.  Any ideas on the species?

What is this spider? Photo: Glenn R. Hieber,

This area is considered a very high quality natural area because of the diversity of plant species and the lack of invasive species, partly due to the hard work of Sally and her fellow volunteer stewards, who participate in work days coordinated by the DNR stewardship program to remove invasive species like autumn olive and multiflora rose.

3 Responses to “HRWC Field Volunteers Enjoy Watershed Gem”

  • Deborah Kanter on Facebook:

    Love South Lake–many intriguing wetlands, canals off the main lake.

  • Ray Garrison:

    Looks like some sort of orb weaver. Possibly a white marbled orb weaver?

  • rork:

    I’ve volunteered there lots. The flowers really are outstanding. The stewardship volunteer page at the DNR often shows a picture of Liatris spicata (the one people all over the world grow) from this area. It has Michigan Lily (a giant tiger lily), and thousands of ironweed (better this year than ever). Expected right now: fringed gentians. Watch out for rattlesnakes.
    Mostly we killed autumn olive, a few buckthorn, some roses, and purple loosestrife. It has been burned several times too. Other places we work also have amazing flowers, with some species not even in field guides. or DNR lists opportunities.

Donate to HRWC
Coal Tar Sealers
Huron River Water Trail
Donate to HRWC
rss .FaceBook-Logo.twitter-logo Youtubelogo