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Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservatory hosting Unusual Spring Experience on Thursday

TRAVERSE CITY — The weather impacts the environment in many ways. This week in Traverse City, people can learn exactly how at an exploratory event starting at 4 p.m. Thursday at Mitchell Creek Meadows.

This is a tour of the one-mile universally-accessible trail that will take about one hour. The site features multiple restoration projects, including Mitchell Creek tributaries, invasive species removal, a dune garden and native plant landscaping.

A stewardship staff member will walk people through the effects of the fluctuating weather on local flora and fauna.

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Many species in Northern Michigan, both resident and migratory, depend on regular seasonal cues to survive and thrive. One of these cues is the typical volume of snowfall. Various plants and animals rely on snow cover until the average temperature rises significantly day and night.

When temperatures rise too early, there can be numerous consequences, many of which are harmful. During this excursion, participants will explore some of the effects of this year’s unusually warm winter on the region’s wildlife.

“There’s quite a bit out of whack, so it was a really interesting to me - always a little sad to see things change and not for the better. So I thought it was important to share what we’ve experienced this winter and how that impacts what we all love,” said Steve Lagerquit, stewardship specialist.

Organizers encourage anyone participating to consider bringing their camera or binoculars. Dress for the weather, and bring sunscreen and bug spray for your safety and comfort. Participants should also come prepared with water and a snack. Although the trail does not go through the woods or tall grasses, it’s recommend to wear long pants, toe-covered shoes and do a tick check at the journey’s end.

Anyone interested should sign up online at www.gtrlc.org/recreation-events/events/.

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