Our staff was pretty excited this summer when botanist Derek Shiels, one of our seasonal invasive species crew, found a threatened Michigan species at the Swanson Preserve. Berulaerecta (cut-leaved water parsnip) grows in cold, spring-fed streams. Leelanau County is the northern-most limit of this plant’s range; it was collected here in 1952, but hasn’t been identified since. This finding brings the total to 207 species identified at Swanson Preserve, making it one of our most ecologically diverse properties. (Cedar River tops the list with 290!)
The Conservancy hires qualified botanists to survey our natural areas and compile plant inventories – we cannot conserve that which we don’t know exists. While we have many goals that vary from one property to the next, conserving biodiversity is a common goal among all of our lands. The health of our natural systems are intimately tied to biodiversity and protecting a rare plant like Berulaerecta helps to ensure a richer existence for us all.