[Date Prev][Date Next][Date Index]

E-M:/ Painted Trillium Tour, Saint Clair County



First Official Annual
Saint Clair County
Painted Trillium (Trillium undulatum) Tour
 
Saturday, May 19, 2001
12:00 noon to 4:00 PM
Saint Clair County USDA Service Center parking lot
2830 Wadhams Road, Wadhams (Kimball Township), Michigan
(Wadhams is about 4 miles west of Port Huron on Lapeer Road)
 
 
Before they're all wiped out by development, come and experience a unique natural heritage of Saint Clair County and Michigan's Thumb: Painted Trillium (Trillium undulatum), a Michigan Endangered Species. According to the distribution map in Edward Voss's Michigan Flora, Painted Trillium occurs in only three counties in Michigan; Saint Clair, Sanilac, and Berrien. In Saint Clair County, it occurs largely in the unique northern forest habitat of the Port Huron area, which we are losing fast, tending to associate with Eastern Hemlock, Paper Birch, and Red Maple in low sands, nearly wetland. The typical habitat is a forest landscape of small mounds and pits across the lower portions of sand ridges on the glacial lakeplain. This northerly forest type also affords an opportunity to observe other unique species of the area, a few which might even be considered disjunct from north of Michigan's transition zone. Michigan, and Saint Clair County, are located near the western edge of the range for Painted Trillium, making what few populations remain, potentially important to the long-term survival of the species.
 
A few new populations have been recently discovered, or rediscovered, possibly even in Macomb County (to soon be confirmed), but so much habitat and several populations are known to have been destroyed. Perhaps the most extensive population we will be visiting occurs at the Michigan Nature Association, Jasper Woods Nature Sanctuary in Kimball Township, while the densest and most vigorous population occurs nearby. One thing is for sure; Kimball Township is Painted Trillium territory in Saint Clair County. Depending on the weather, we should hit the peak blooming time or just past, from our experience. Even without the flower, it is still possible to identify most Painted Trillium by the relatively long petioles (about 1 cm.) and faint whitish-green variegations in the leaves.
 
We will meet at 12:00 noon in the parking lot of the Saint Clair County USDA Service Center in Wadhams, at 2830 Wadhams Road. The Service Center is a small brown building across from McDonald's and in front of Carter's IGA, along the east side of Wadhams Road, about 1/2 mile north of I-69 (exit 196), and a few hundred feet south of Lapeer Road.
 
Bring a lunch, boots, rain gear, a hat, and mosquito repellent. We will be driving to several spots throughout Kimball, Port Huron, Clyde, and Fort Gratiot Townships. You can leave the tour at any point. Just in case you're a bit late, we will be going to the MNA Jasper Woods sanctuary first, which is located about 2.5 miles southwest of the USDA Service Center, about 1/4 mile south of Griswold Road on Dunlap Road, in Kimball Township. Jasper Woods requires no walking to see Painted Trillium. Other sites will require less than 1/4 mile of walking.
 
It is anticipated that there will be a discussion about Painted Trillium and other species/habitat protection ideas for Saint Clair County after the tour, for those that would like to stay. The meeting place and time will be decided near the end of the tour.
 
For more information, contact Bill Collins, Huron Ecologic, LLC at 248-853-6233, or at huronecologic@netzero.net