Educational Opportunities

Please come out and join us for one of our nature events!  Updated information and any last minute changes to these events can be found at this website. Details for each event are found below the table.

Summer 2018 Stewardship Education Events

Event Location Date Time
Workshop: Habitat Restoration for Landowners Paint Creek Cider Mill June 16 10 am – 12:30 pm
Workshop: High-Priority Invasive Plants Paint Creek Cider Mill June 28 6:30 pm
Stewardship Summer Potluck Bear creek Nature Park (rain location Paint Creek Cider Mill) July 19 6:30 pm
Site Visit: Paint Creek Heritage Area – Wet Prairie Paint Creek Cider Mill, 4480 Orion Rd July 24 6:30 – 8:30 pm
Site Visit: Draper Twin Lake Park Draper Twin Lake Park, 1015 Inwood Rd Aug 18 10 am – 12 pm

Habitat Restoration for Landowners

Your land can be an oasis for butterflies, birds, and other wildlife! Join us to learn about backyard habitat restoration. We will start at the Paint Creek Cider Mill at 9 am to briefly learn about planning, invasive species control, seed collection, installing plants, and working with contractors. We will then visit a few active ecological restoration sites within the township parks. Don’t miss this chance to enhance your backyard habitat while connecting with other interested landowners!

Mary Jamieson Bombus impatiens
Bombus impatiens on Allium flower. Photo by Caleb Wilson.

Phragmites, Knotweed, Swallow-wort, and More: High Priority Invasive Plants!

We will walk through the basics of identifying, controlling, and reporting priority invasive species. These invasive plants are known to reduce property values, degrade natural areas, and impair wildlife habitat. Don’t let these plants get established on your property!

Phragmites on Mead Road at O’Connor Nature Park in 2014

Natural Areas Stewardship Summer Potluck

  • Thursday, July 19, 2018. 6:30 pm at Bear Creek Nature Park, 740 W. Snell Rd. (rain location is the Paint Creek Cider Mill)

Come join us for our summer celebration of habitat restoration in Oakland Township! You won’t want to miss the hearty conversation and great food. Learn about natural areas stewardship work in our parks while connecting with others involved in our programs. If there is inclement weather, we will be at the Paint Creek Cider. RSVP appreciated to or 248-651-7810 ext. 401 by Tuesday, July 17.

MikeJoanKent_23Mar2018 (9)
We’ll celebrate all we’ve done as a community to keep our natural areas healthy. A huge thanks to all of our volunteers!

Land Preservation Park Tours

Paint Creek Heritage Area – Wet Prairie

  • Tuesday, July 24, 2018. 6:30 to 8:30. Meet at the Paint Creek Cider Mill, 4480 Orion Road.

Paint Creek Heritage Area-Wet Prairie protects unique examples of the prairie and oak savanna that used to cover over two-thirds of Oakland Township.

Purchased in 2003, the Wet Prairie was the first Oakland Township Park to be acquired entirely with the Township’s Land Preservation millage funds.  Its 10.46 acres preserve approximately one-quarter mile of scenic vistas and natural habitats along the Paint Creek Trail and it includes the Paint Creek’s former creek bed (before it was redirected by the railroad).

The Wet Prairie is a plant lover’s delight – hosting more than 200 species of native plants!  The park’s namesake habitat, “wet prairie” was formerly mined of its topsoil and is actually an old sand pit.  Its nutrient-poor soils and seasonal high-water table support a unique combination of upland and wetland plants.  In addition to the wet prairie, the park also includes a variety of oak-dominated woodlands and wet sedge meadows.

When OTPR purchased this property invasive plants and a closed-canopy forest were overtaking these habitats.  During the last 15 years, OTPR Land Stewardship staff have restored the prairie area to its grassland glory by removing unwanted woody vegetation and invasive plants and introducing prescribed burning.  Whether you visit this site in spring, summer or fall you will be surprised by the variety of flowering plants and prairie grasses!

Draper Twin Lake Park

  • Saturday, August 18, 2018. 10 am to 12 pm. Meet in the parking lot at 1015 Inwood Road

At Draper Twin Lake Park we will check out Twin Lake, then head to the east side of the park. This park was purchased in 2005 with a combination of Land Preservation millage funds and a sizable donation from the Draper family.  The name of this 90-acre park honors both this family’s generosity as well as the park’s frontage on the easterly Twin Lake.  Draper Twin Lake Park protects wet meadows, a large marsh, shrub wetlands, a kettle wetland, forests and access to Twin Lake.

Soon after purchasing this park, OTPR improved its access by constructing a limestone trail, a boardwalk, and a floating dock.  These facilities allow our residents to enjoy nature viewing, kayaking, paddle boarding and fishing programs on Twin Lake.  A trail system on the east side of the park also provides a popular pedestrian connection between Inwood Road and Parks Road.  This trail passes by this park’s 20-acre field which is being restored to prairie by our Land Stewardship staff with the help of a US Fish and Wildlife Service grant.  Don’t miss this chance to see bee balm, coreopsis, and other wildflowers blooming in our prairie planting! We will also talk about the role of controlled fire in natural areas management while walking through an area that was burned by our volunteer prescribed burn crew in April 2018.

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