Volunteers Make a big Difference at Standish Nature Preserve

by Yfat Yossifor - Click HERE to visit Yfat's blog and original posting


It’s clear to me that a small group of people could make a big difference.
The group was the sixteen volunteers and organizers that stood at the intersection of Bordeau Road and Bordeau Lane Saturday, Sept 20, for the Fall Stewardship Day at Standish Nature Preserve. An event organized by the Saginaw Basin Land Conservancy and the Michigan United Conservation Clubs’ On the Ground program.
The object of the event was to remove invasive autumn olive trees from the preserve.
The property is about 25 acres with a mature hardwood forest, wetlands and a pond. It’s home to wildlife and various birds with a short trail that leads around the pond.
After a brief orientation, gloves, saws and pesticide dabbers were distributed. The volunteers split into two groups and set out to work.
When I visited the preserve last month, I had to duck under many branches to get through the trail. The autumn olives stood impressively big, blocking views and taking over several sections of vegetation.
The teams cut, chopped and piled the autumn olives into “rabbitats,” which are the piles of cut branches that become habitats for small animals.
We were surprised when we met up with the other team who looped around the property. The work was done in about two and half hours.
As I walked back around the trail, I realized I could walk with ease. I had new and better views of the pond. Light filtered through the vegetation, allowing areas previously shaded to see the sun.
It’s a victory and a celebration. We made a difference on this beautiful, diverse habitat by making it more accessible for humans and wildlife.
I love this little preserve and seeing it this way made me very joyful.
To everyone who stood by the trailer, picked up the work gloves and set out to work on a beautiful Saturday morning – thank you. Thank you for showing me what a caring group of people could do in this world.

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