Turtle Woods Preserve

Turtle Woods Preserve

“Imagine a place within a busy city, where shady swamps harbor endangered spotted turtles, ancient reptiles whose dark shells glow with spots of brilliant yellow, gliding just below the water’s surface. Then imagine moving a short distance into a glacial lakeplain prairie, with fields of native grasses and flowers from the time when the glaciers last melted from the land of Southeast Michigan.”

Turtle Woods Preserve

Those words first appeared in the Summer 2000 issue of the Oakland Land Conservancy newsletter in reference to a parcel of undeveloped land on the north side of Square Lake Road between John R and Dequindre in the highly urbanized City of Troy. Fast forward to May 2018. Efforts of the former Oakland Land Conservancy, which eventually merged with other conservancies, and finally morphed into the Six Rivers Land Conservancy finally bore fruit in the form of the new Turtle Woods Preserve. Continue reading

Secrets of Late Winter Cedar Swamps

WILDER SIDE OF OAKLAND COUNTY

Dismal, dreary, forbidding, impassable, impenetrable and treacherous. Those words have all been used to describe swamps. Just say the word “swamp” and the first image some conjure up is a muddy mire “infested” with mosquitos, alligators and snakes: a wetland that must be drained to make it safe for humans. However, swamps are in many ways like giant sponges that hold water, replenish aquifers, sustain life and keep our landscape healthy.

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Paddling Waterford: A Clinton River Adventure

WILDER SIDE OF OAKLAND COUNTY

“Southeast Michigan boasts a phenomenal bounty of outdoor recreation and exploration opportunities, so come discover, explore, and protect the Nature Near You!” 
-Six Rivers Land Conservancy Adventure League.

The mission of the Six Rivers Land Conservancy is to “Conserve, sustain, and connect natural areas, lands and waters that make the place we live special.” Combine those two sentences and then it’s time get ready for sultry summer days and crisp fall adventures on the wilder side of Oakland County.

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Bear Creek Nature Park: Hike, Explore, Play, Refresh

WILDER SIDE OF OAKLAND COUNTY

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“Climb the mountains and get their good tidings. Nature’s peace will flow into you as sunshine flows into the trees. The wind will blow their own freshness into you and the storms their energy, while cares will drop off like autumn leaves.” Those words of John Muir fit my exploration of Bear Creek Nature Park last Friday afternoon. The temperature hovered just above the single digits, strong winds rustled dry oak leaves, and long-missing brilliant sunshine made snow sparkle.

Bear Creek is a publicly accessible 107-acre park that has been managed by the Parks and Recreation Commission of the Charter Township of Oakland since 1977. Parking permits are not required. There are no bears at Bear Creek, and Bear Creek is not a wilderness by any means, but the landscape has a rich history of farming and cattle grazing going back to European settlement in 1827. Continue reading

Six Rivers Land Conservancy: A Portal to the Wilder Side of Oakland County

WILDER SIDE OF OAKLAND COUNTY

IMG_2968The cataclysmic land-sculpting forces of the last great glacier created the hilly topography that is the present day Oakland County. As the glacier retreated, and new landforms took shape, it gifted us with over 1,400 lakes of various sizes and depths.  One of those lakes is 48 acre Teeple Lake, an alluring  gem of nature tucked away in the heavily wooded and hilly southeast corner of the 5,900 acre Highland State Recreation Area.

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