The Eastern Region is Aflutter!

The national forests and national tallgrass prairie of the Eastern Region are happy to manage 90 pollinator/native plant gardens; 67 of which have interpretive signage. Native Plant and Pollinator gardens are sources for local native seeds for restoration, as well as sites for interpretation. Pollinators include ants, bats, bees, beetles, birds, butterflies, moths and wasps.

In addition to providing nectar and larval food to pollinators, these gardens also serve as rain collectors, slowly releasing rain water into the ground. They provide habitat for wildlife and serve as living classrooms for local students and the public. They tell the important story of the significance of our native flora, pollinators and pollination.

One of these pollinator gardens is at the Huron-Manistee National Forest’s Loda Lake National Wildflower Sanctuary, the only wildflower sanctuary in the National Forest System. Loda Lake is an area that includes a small spring-fed lake, a bog-like wetland area, a creek and riparian marshy areas, oak forest, pine plantations, and an early successional old farm site.  Botanist Clayton Bazuin noted, “Loda Lake is ideally suited as a wildflower sanctuary and although near one of Michigan’s busy highways, can still be a natural reservoir of wild plants. This is due to the large number of ecological associations it affords in which they may survive.”

There are 230 wildflower species at the sanctuary! The sanctuary is supported both financially and botanically by the Federated Garden Clubs of Michigan for over seventy years.

Plan a visit today to check out Loda Lake, or any of the other amazing pollinator gardens in the Eastern Region of the Forest Service!