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Saturday, March 7 • 1:00pm - 1:45pm
Restoration of Southern Michigan's Original Bur Oak Savannah

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In his novel “Oak Openings” which was set in early settlement-era south central Michigan, James Fenimore Cooper described the landscape as consisting of “low oaks that were scattered profusely… and with… an air of negligence.” This landscape, which is now called a bur oak plan when it has less than 30% canopy, has been completely extirpated from Michigan. Marshall Academy has received a $3000 grant from the Michigan Department of Natural Resources to convert an acre of its property into both a small bur oak plan and a fragment of another ecosystem, the oak opening which contains more than 30% canopy. By this coming spring a ten-member crew of MA students will have planted 85 graminoids and forbs and shrubs and trees, including thirteen endangered and critically imperiled plants that thrive in these two ecosystems. I plan to show at the conference how our crew has been planting each species at the side of an interpretive trail in the best specialized environment in which it can thrive, how we’ve been working with an area which was originally a waste land to stabilize its soil and rid it of invaders, and how we hope to restore it into a specimen of the landscape Cooper described, one which will be a haven for plant and animal life now threatened by extinction.

avatar for Richard G Green

Richard G Green

Retired Science Teacher and Coach for the Academy's Bur Oak Savannah Restoration Project, Marshall Academy
I retired last year after teaching earth science, biology, chemistry, and physics at Marshall Academy. I feel strongly that science students learn best by direct experience, and lab work and field trips played a central role in my curriculum. My earth science students viewed shale... Read More →

Saturday March 7, 2020 1:00pm - 1:45pm CST
Meeting Room 203

Attendees (7)