The roots of our commitment to teaching about, and reinforcing the importance of the world of pollinators, are firmly imbedded in our on-going support of Loda Lake Wildflower Sanctuary. Loda Lake has been and continues to be the only wildflower sanctuary that is part of the National Forest System. Making an association between “wild flowers” and “native plants” helps to link the ideas of protecting native habitat with protecting our native pollinators.
Loda Lake Wildflower Sanctuary is a 72-acre natural area within the Manistee National Forest in west-central lower Michigan. A partnership between the National Forest Service and Michigan Garden Clubs was established in 1949 and we have cooperatively managed the area since that time. MGC is closely involved in planning for site improvements and helping to fund them. Recent improvements have included a new entrance road, improved signage, protective fencing and a rebuilt boardwalk.
The sanctuary is an ideal location for the preservation and observation of wildflowers and other native plants such as pitcher plants, ferns, mosses and ground pines because it includes many different plant habitats. There is a small lake, a boardwalk over a bog and over 2 miles of trails through oak-pine forests, pine plantations and old fields. A recently developed “cultural trail” passes by the foundations of buildings that were once part of a farm that existed on the site in the early 1800’s. The trails also connect to the 4,600-mile North Country Trail that passes through Michigan from the Ohio border to Wisconsin leaving the state at Ironwood in the upper peninsula.
To learn more about this MGC supported treasure, download a brochure or take a virtual hike:
Plan to visit when you’re in the area or arrange a club visit. The sanctuary is located approximately 5 miles north of the city of White Cloud on M37.
Clubs may contact Karen Motawi, Loda Lake Chair, for a presentation about the sanctuary and its unique history. To arrange a docent led tour, please contact Carolyn Henne USFS Botanist firstname.lastname@example.org at least 4 weeks before scheduled visit.
Michigan Garden Clubs are encouraged to continue to support the Loda Lake Sanctuary through regular donations.
Contact: Karen Motawi
20831 21 Mile Rd.
Big Rapids, Michigan 49307
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