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Grass River Natural Area.
Nestled in the hills of Antrim County in Michigan's northwest corner of the lower peninsula (see map), the Grass River Natural Area (GRNA) encompasses lakes, a meandering river, rushing streams and crystal clear creeks — a haven for plant and animal life, including both rare and endangered species. This natural eco-guardian project lies midway on the renowned Chain of Lakes waterway, a connector of Torch and Clam lakes, and Lake Bellaire. Grass River Natural Area is open seven days a week from dawn to dusk. Stop by to see what's happening at the Natural Area, peruse the informative displays, and browse the bookstore.
There will be a public forum at the Grass River Natural Area Education Center to review a proposed pilot project to install a few log structures (Large Woody Debris) along the banks of a portion of Grass River. The purpose of this pilot project is to determine the effectiveness and aesthetics of this technique to naturally deepen the channel and thereby protect the navigability of this river for future generations. It is also hoped that the structures will enhance habitats for fish and other wildlife. Four speakers will briefly provide some background information about this proposed pilot project, followed by ample time for Q&A. Click here for flyer.
SWITCHBACK is BACK for another GRNA benefit dance on June 29 at 6 pm. We also have Shorts Beer and food again this year in the big tent on the shores of Torch Lake at Alden Depot. We had over 400 people for last year's event, and the crowd gets bigger every year, so purchase your tickets online before they are all gone for just $16 ($20 at the door). Come out and support Grass River Natural Area and dance the night away to the music of SWITCHBACK.
Naturalists and volunteers are gearing up for a third annual Bird Blitz on June 8 to survey bird populations in the Grass River Natural Area. Counts will be compared with baselines established over the past two years. Population changes may depend on natural variation in climate or habitat or on human influences. GRNA naturalists will use the results of the Bird Blitz and follow-up analysis as the scientific basis for habitat management. Click the map below to see a larger PDF version of the survey areas. For more details on GRNA birds and past Bird Blitz reports, see the Habitat and Wildlife page. And be sure to sign up to assist in the Bird Blitz on the Events page!
Hours are Saturday and Sunday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m. Drop by on Saturdays at 1:00 p.m. for nature programs about our theme of the month. Join our naturalist every Sunday for a stroll at 1:00 p.m. See classes and special events for more information. The Grass River Natural Area is located at 6500 Alden Hwy, Bellaire.
In July, "Traverse, Northern Michigan's Magazine" listed Grass River Natural Area as one of the top ten Northern Michigan Summer Escapes (read the full article).
Thank you Grass River donors!! Read more...
Educational classes for children, adults and school groups, emphasizing the environment and water and land protection are at the core of the popular outdoor curriculum. A network of trails with observation platforms and boardwalks traverse an educational area providing easy access to upland, wetland and aquatic habitats. A portion of this seven mile system is wheelchair and stroller accessible.
Grass River Natural Area is publicly owned and managed by a local volunteer board of directors dedicated to water and land protection and environmental education. Visitors are welcome year-round from dawn 'til dusk. GRNA is free to visitors, who are encouraged in return to become members, volunteers and contributors.
Photography—Participants in classes, on pontoon trips, and other GRNA sponsored events may be photographed for the educational and promotional purposes of Grass River Natural Area.
Pets (small domestic animals) are allowed ONLY on the Railroad Grade and Algonquin Trail provided the animal is on a leash or otherwise under the immediate control of the owner.
Donations to Grass River Natural Area can be made by clicking the donate button on the left or by mailing to PO Box 231, Bellaire MI 49615, or calling 231-533-8314.