Chikaming Open Lands is applying for renewal of accreditation by the Land Trust Accreditation Commission, an independent program of the Land Trust Alliance. The program recognizes land conservation organizations that meet national quality standards for protecting natural places and working lands in perpetuity. Chikaming Open Lands was among the first 39 land trusts out of 1,700 in the United States to be accredited when the program was initiated in 2008.
Dayton Wet Prairie, located in Bertrand Township, is a 40-acre mosaic of communities with alkaline shrub/herb fen (Lower Great Lake type), wet prairie, and shrub carr. Chikaming Open Lands acquired Dayton Wet Prairie from The Nature Conservancy in 2011. A local dirt road bisects the preserve into north and south sections and the McCoy Creek slowly meanders through it as well. According to an ecological survey of the plants and animals in the wet prairie, there are several threatened species of special concern including the Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake, Spotted Turtle, Eastern Box Turtle, White Lady's Slipper, Prairie Indian Plantain, and Edible Valerian. Due to its very delicate nature, this preserve is not open to the public, there is no parking, and there are no trails. Special permission must be obtained before visiting this site.
Check out our latest restoration project at Dayton Wet Prairie in the video below!
Through a grant with the Landowner Incentive Program of the Michigan Department of Natural Resources, Blue Heron Ministries was hired to plug a ditch in Dayton Wet Prairie. The ditch was made probably back in the mid 1900's to drain the wetlands and try to create more farmland in the area.
In an effort to restore the property to its natural hydrology, we are plugging the ditch to slow down the water's movement and recreate wetlands. BHM is installing four "plugs" which are sort of walls of cedar placed to block the water flow. These structures, supplemented by some dirt piled in between, will help reduce the water flow in the ditch, making the water back up and saturate the land. We anticipate a gorgeous wetland habitat to re-emerge next spring! Note, we are using dirt found onsite to reduce the possibility of alien species being introduced to our prairie fen.
Here is a video of the tongue and groove cedar boards being put in the ditch to block the flow of the water to slow it down.
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Contact Information Chikaming Open Lands
14913 Lakeside Road
Lakeside, MI 49116