One Saturday last October, a group of volunteers set out to plant thousands of trees and shrubs along the Boardman River in the bottomlands left behind when the Brown Bridge Dam was removed. This was one of several work-bees arranged and managed by the Grand Traverse Conservation District.
With little vegetation along its banks and no shade over the stream, the meandering water warms in the sun, catches silty runoff and provides little useful habitat for native fish and wildlife. The volunteer conservationists are helping to re-establish fish and wildlife habitat lost a century ago. At the same time, they’re also helping to make this part of the river more resilient to the increasingly frequent, severe storms visiting Northwest Lower Michigan.