Oakland Township in Oakland County, Michigan — The American Midwest (Great Lakes)
Forestry Mowing for Habitat Restoration
We use forestry mowing in this area to remove dense thickets of non-native, invasive shrubs like buckthorn, autumn olive, and oriental bittersweet. Using the process outlined below, we will restore the native wildflowers and grasses that once were common in Oakland Township, improving wildlife and pollinator habitat.
Before European settlement widely spaced oak trees dotted the landscape, with savanna wildflowers and sun-loving grassland plants in the understory. Frequent fires lit by humans and natural causes maintained the open character of these oak savanna communities.
In the 1800s European settlers cleared the trees, tilled the land, and suppressed fires, leading to rapid loss of the native prairie and oak savanna communities in southeast Michigan. Much of this land was farmed until the 1960s and 1970s.
After agriculture ceased in these fields, non-native invasive shrubs such as autumn olive, multiflora rose, and glossy buckthorn quickly established. These shrubs and other persistent agricultural plants do not provide high quality habitat for
The Restoration Process
Step 1: Remove Invasive Shrubs. We use a tracked skid steer with a mulching head to grind up invasive shrubs, leaving oaks and other desirable trees. The shredded wood will decay over time, returning nutrients to the soil. We work in winter to prevent oak wilt and to avoid harming nesting birds, reptiles, amphibians, and other wildlife.
Step 2: Spreading seed. In late winter or early spring after forestry moving, we spread a seed mix of native grasses and wildflowers to provide quick native plant cover for wildlife.
Step 3: Treating Invasive Shrubs. As invasive shrubs re-sprout, we will spot treat them in summer and early fall. It will take at least three years to thoroughly control invasive shrubs.
Step 4: Maintenance. As native plants re-establish, we will use prescribed fire, brush hogging, spot treatment, and seed additions to continue the restoration process.
Learn More and Get Involved
Visit our blog at oaklandnaturalareas.com
This project is funded by Oakland Township residents through the Land Preservation millage
Erected by Oakland Township Parks and Recreation.
Topics. This historical marker is listed in this topic list: Environment.
Location. 42° 44.252′ N, 83° 9.22′ W. Marker is in Oakland Township, Michigan, in Oakland County. Marker can be reached from West Snell Road, 0.4 miles east of Orion Road. Marker is in Bear Creek Nature Preserve on a trail on the north side of Center Pond, about 0.4 mile north of the Snell Road parking lot. Touch for map. Marker is at or near this postal address: 740 West Snell Road, Rochester MI 48306, United States of America. Touch for directions.
Other nearby markers. At least 8 other markers are within 4 miles of this marker, measured as the crow flies. The Paint Creek Cider Mill (approx. half a mile away); a different marker also named Paint Creek Cider Mill (approx. half a mile away); Water Wheel (approx. 0.6 miles away); Paint Creek Millrace (approx. 0.6 miles away); Paint Creek Cemetery (approx. 1½ miles away); Decker Settlement / Jesse Decker (approx. 3.2 miles away); Axford-Coffin Farm (approx. 3.3 miles away); The Flumerfelt Barn (approx. 3.3 miles away). Touch for a list and map of all markers in Oakland Township.
Credits. This page was last revised on October 19, 2020. It was originally submitted on October 19, 2020, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan. This page has been viewed 78 times since then and 16 times this year. Photos: 1, 2, 3. submitted on October 19, 2020, by Joel Seewald of Madison Heights, Michigan.