Elk Rapids Almanac - June 2021
Thursday June 10 - What’s in that box? Christine Crissman, The Watershed Center director, and Ohio State University Ph.D. candidate Kathleen Fast recently explained.
Rain gardens, like the ones recently installed at the Edward C. Grace Memorial Harbor, are shallow depressions where stormwater runoff collects and is filtered through the ground instead of running directly into stormdrains and nearby waterways. They are planted with native vegetation with deep root systems that filter out and break down pollutants found in stormwater (nutrients, bacteria, oils, grease, sediment). The large metal box and other equipment found in the rain garden near the harbor’s upper parking lot will demonstrate how effective that rain garden is at filtering pollutants from stormwater. During rain events, water is collected before it enters the rain garden and after it infiltrates through the soil. Those water samples are then tested for a variety of water quality parameters to determine if filtering the stormwater through the rain garden decreased pollutants and increased the quality of the water. -Christine Crissman www.gtbay.org
June 27 - We’ve again reached the peak of dry fly fishing here in Northern Michigan! Anglers are flocking to the rivers hoping to find big trout rising to mayflies in the fleeting light. Some anglers will be staying out late fishing into the darkness looking for the trout of a lifetime. They know the hatches, like summer, never seem to last long enough. Mark Hartman, The Northern Angler, Traverse City. - www.thenorthernangler.com
June 28 - A Day in the Life of a BAYKEEPER. The Grand Traverse BAYKEEPER is a key position at The Watershed Center, where BAYKEEPER Heather Smith advocates for everyone’s right to clean water and leads water protection efforts for drinkable, fishable, and swimmable water for all. Today that responsibility has Heather leading a family of volunteers to sample aquatic insects that are indicators of the health of the stream. This data provide a baseline of the condition of streams in our area and helps Heather identify potential water quality concerns. - www.gtbay.org
June 28 - Three months ago the Eco Club students and Green ER members received 75 native species saplings to plant as a Citizen Scientist project. A leftover oak sapling looked too dead to plant with the rest but was placed in an old pot as an afterthought. As it was about to get tossed in the compost pile, we noticed two tiny leaves! This twig deserves a chance at life! Doug Tallamy, in The Nature of Oaks, notes Oaks can live for a thousand years or more. This one is given to our Parks and Rec commission in hopes they will find a good spot for it, where it can be nurtured and measured over many years to come. -Mary Halek and Royce Ragland
Photo top left: The Box in the Rain Garden - photo by Laura Shumate
Photo bottom left: Baykeeper Heather Smith and volunteer testing water samples - photo by the Watershed Center