Sunday 4 June - 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.: Goose Creek MNA Sanctuary
Field Trip Leader: Tony Reznicek
Goose Creek Grasslands Nature Sanctuary extends over three-quarters of a mile from southeast to northwest along the Goose Creek, and includes many diverse habitats. Saturated soil, wet prairie, marsh, and fen habitats are all found within the sanctuary’s boundaries, allowing for a wide range of plant and animal species to exist. Prairie fens are extremely delicate areas that form where groundwater flows back to the surface through alkaline soil. Because of its rarity and size, the fen of Goose Creek Grasslands is an extremely important remnant.
GCS lies enfolded in Michigan’s Irish Hills, in a glacial trough which showcases deposits of raw gravel left behind by retreating glacial ice sheets. The hills make this area of southern Michigan a scenic part of the state, bisected by the historic Great Sauk Prairie Trail.
Over two hundred plant species have been identified at Goose Creek Grasslands, including seven that are classified as rare. Sedges are abundant among many fen plants, including buckbean and pitcher plant. Aquatic plants, such as pickerel weed and pondweeds, take advantage of the wettest sites. Adding color to the landscape later in the season are Goose Creek’s dozens of prairie flowers, including culver’s-root, Indian paintbrush, many sunflowers and Joe-Pye weed.
Carpool: From Miller Park-n-Ride depart at noon.
Directions: Located in Lenawee County, off Cement City Highway across from Goose Lake. From the north or south: Take US-127 and go east on Vicary Rd. Turn south onto Cement City Highway. From the east or west: Take US-12 and turn north onto Cement City Highway. Parking is available, along the road, near the Goose Lake boat dock.
For additional information, contact the MNA office at (866) 223-2231