Earlier this month, CRA staff met with our partners and friends at Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy (GTRLC) for a group hike at the Lower Woodcock Lake Nature Preserve. The GTRLC-owned and protected land surrounds Lower Woodcock Lake, which flows into the Platte River.

As our two organizations collectively walked the preserve, GTRLC staffers paused to share points of interest. They explained that a portion of the trail closes annually from April 15 – July 15 to safeguard nesting birds, including the Red Shouldered Hawk. They spoke about endangered native plant species, such as the Michigan Monkey Flower, and how they’re working to protect them along this biodiverse piece of land. We even encountered a massive downed tree (pictured below), the aftermath of the world’s most ambitious beaver!

The trail led us to a timber bridge that CRA put in a few years back. Program Director Kimberly Balke spoke about this previous culvert and the positive ecological effects the new bridge has had on the surrounding land, river, and life within it.
Having GTRLC, which focuses on land protection, and CRA, which focuses on river protection, visit a location where both entities have made immense impacts was truly a powerful experience. That physical merging of woods and water beautifully paralleled the cooperative relationship between our two organizations.

To our friends at GTRLC, thanks for the great day together! Northwest Michigan, stay tuned for more collaboration to come!