Those who love our beautiful native wildflowers and the creatures who live among them can help keep them healthy into the future. Garlic mustard, an invasive species that chokes out local flora, is easy to identify now with its white flowers. Many nature groups in the area are holding events centered around ridding an area of this year’s blooming garlic mustard, but anyone out on the trails can help. Pictured are Lance, Drew and Dana Bultman, who helped pull garlic mustard at Luton Park on Sunday, April 29. Georgia Donovan, president of the local Isaak Walton League, met with members of the Michigan Mountain Bike Association, who maintain the park. She showed them how to identify the plant and to bag them up before they go to seed. To view good pictures of garlic mustard, visit www.ipm.msu.edu/garlicmustard.htm.
(A day picking up trash is a good day in the outdoors) Mountain bike riders are excited to be allowed to use a beautiful piece of Rockford property to enjoy their sport, but are hoping for some help in cleaning up trash. Members will be meeting at 9 a.m. on Saturday, May 9 at the Luton barn, 6099 Kies Avenue (from Rockford Ten Mile to Courtland, south to Kies, east to the barn) to pick up litter. The western chapter of the MMBA has been trying to build more trails in Kent County for years. There is currently under 20 miles of single track (natural surface narrow trail) in Kent County. This is a very small amount for a city the size of Grand Rapids. When a large population of hikers, bike riders, etc use one or two small trail systems they can become over crowded. Kent County finally found a home for the MMBA at Luton Park. Luton is undeveloped and suited their needs and the county’s needs perfectly. The MMBA offered to build and maintain the trail system for Kent County and its residents free of charge. So far MMBA members have logged over 900 man hours developing the current 6.5 mile natural surface trail at Luton Park. It is their intent to share it with the community by making it a multi-use trail. The stacked loop system allows for more multi-trail users with less conflict between groups. Most hikers will hike shorter more direct routes such as the Blue Loop and interact less often with the bike riders who are spread amongst all the loops. Removing the trash will be a huge benefit to all. Enjoy the day making this public park cleaner. Luton Park was donated by the Luton family and is a beautiful property with two creeks, fields, and lots of wildlife and a variety of woodlands. It is a gem for outdoor enthusiasts.