Camp Maplehurst’s enduring legacy

Located on a strip of land that separates two of Michigan’s largest lakes, Elk and Torch, Maplehurst Natural Area is an unexpected delight to anybody who stumbles across it. The former summer camp is now a protected area of land thanks to a collaboration between Milton Township and the Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy.

Belle Isle study lights way for savings

The installation of a state-of-the-art street lighting system on Belle Isle – located on the Michigan side of the Detroit River across from Windsor, Ontario – was a major step forward in saving energy and electricity while improving safety for visitors. Now five years later, a new study says computer optimization modeling could lead to even further savings and other benefits, such as fewer crashes, for communities that upgrade their street light systems. 

Tracking trail trees: Looking for horizontal shapes in a vertical world

Native Americans once bent saplings to grow into directional markers. They signaled such things as where to cross a river and where to enter and exit trails. There are likely only a few hundred original trail trees left in the Great Lakes area. Some are over 200 years old.

September: Connections

How we name things affects how we think about them. We name fields, and forests, and marshes, and streams as separate things, so we tend to think of them as separate things. But separating these habitats in our vocabulary and in our minds obscures the innumerable connections that bind these habitats into a single working landscape.

July: Stay cool

July is our warmest month, its steamy days and sticky nights giving us a little taste of the tropics. When we look for ways to beat July’s heat, we often end up in the water – sprinklers, backyard pools, or one of Michigan’s many lakes. So let’s take a few minutes on this hot July day to think about how cool water is.

Urban ecology is in the hands of Minnesota citizens

Since 2019, just over a dozen inner-city families in the heart of Minneapolis have cared for small prairies full of native plants in the boulevard strips adjacent to their homes. The project is aimed at  increasing urban biodiversity. It is called City Backyard Science and is funded by the University of Minnesota Institute on the Environment.