Wetlands Preserve

RTEmagicC_Wetlands2_01 The Wetlands Preserve, located near Founders Hall, covers a three to four acre area. The Wetlands Preserve has over 50 species native to this area (within 50 miles) of wildflowers, plants, scrubs, and trees. The Preserve provides a natural habitat for wildlife, including rare birds. It also serves as an educational facility for biology students and professors.

The Wetlands Preserve was originally a grassy storm drain area. Planning for an area on campus that would promote native plantings began in 1999, and the major construction took place in 2000 and 2001. Funding for the Wetlands Preserve came from the US Department of Fish and Wildlife and the Saginaw Bay Watershed Initiative Network (WIN). WIN gave grants totaling $20,000 to build the Wetland Preserve.  The US Dept. of Fish and Wildlife provided a grant of $5,000 to build a small control dam at the outlet of the swale area. Dow Gardens gave money to buy native trees.  The total development cost was a little over $30,000,  including money invested by the University.
More plants were installed in 2003 and 2004. The two major designer/contractors were Wildtype from Mason, Michigan, and Wetlands Nursery from Saginaw.
The preserve was planted with plants that were native to this area of Michigan only.  The local genotype (local provenance) must be native to an area roughly within a 50 mile radius of the campus.  A plant, tree or shrub whose ancestors developed  in this area have adapted to this climate.  They will generally take less care, watering, fertilizer and insecticide treatment than plants grown in other areas of the country.