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New partnership improves Biodiversity and Pollinator Habitat


DETROIT: National Pollinators Week (June 22 – 28) has just passed – a full week to celebrate and advocate for the importance of pollinators and practices that can ensure their survival ( https://www.pollinator.org/pollinator-week). To support those efforts, the Metroparks and Detroit Parks and Recreation partnered to make improvements to restored prairie habitats within Rouge Park.


In March, Huron-Clinton Metroparks signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Detroit Parks and Recreation on a three-year agreement to complete natural areas management work within Rouge Park – the city’s largest park. The partnership would work to promote native species and biodiversity by removing invasive species, performing prairie restoration and improving the trails within the prairie area of the park. Biodiversity is important to sustaining productive, thriving ecosystems. Multiple species of flora and fauna work together, each performing their own role. Improvements in biodiversity of the prairie and butterfly garden will result in better habitat for pollinators as well.


The partnership will also work to improve trails within the area so that park users have easier access to enjoy these natural areas close to home and build towards the 100-year anniversary celebration of Rouge Park in 2023. Volunteer opportunities will exist for visitors to get involved and assist in the efforts of preserving these natural spaces for all to enjoy. The project will also include prescribed burn as a prairie management tactic. The partnership is already off to a strong start with REI awarding a $10,000 grant for the partnership to work on infrastructure needs such as garbage cans and benches at trailheads, wayfinding signs and volunteer efforts utilizing REI members and public volunteers.


But this is not the first-time restoration and management work has taken place in Rouge Park. Detroit Parks and Recreation and the Friends of Rouge Park have been focused on the preservation of these areas for decades. You can read more about some of those efforts in a recent article in Planet Detroit (https://planetdetroit.org/2020/06/in-detroit-the-long-term-fight-for-biodiversity-is-bearing-fruit-and-flowers-and-birds-and-butterflies/).


“We’re excited to team up with Detroit Parks and Recreation to share resources and support stewardship efforts in our region,” says Amy McMillan, Director for the Huron-Clinton Metroparks. “Our Natural Resources Department has experienced staff in prescribed burns, along with the equipment to make it possible. We know that many of the Metroparks are a fair distance away from those living in the city, and this was one way we could bring a little bit of the Metroparks closer to the city – the partnership just makes sense.”


Detroit Parks and Recreation is enthusiastic about partnering with Metroparks, combining their natural resource management expertise with our commitment to improve our natural spaces in Detroit parks,” said Meagan Elliott, City of Detroit Chief Parks Planner. “In the past few years we have focused on improving the active play and sports amenities in our much-loved Rouge park, and the partnership with Metroparks will help to ensure that natural spaces in Rouge park look good and serve residents and pollinators alike.”


Full details of the MOU can be read at https://www.metroparks.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/03/00_March-Packet.pdf?x91894 pages 86 – 99.



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Revised: 07/07/20 23:24:34 -0700.




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