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.”
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.