April showers bring May … garlic mustard? Township's annual battles with invasive plants about to begin

By Chris Hung
The Meridian Times Staff Reporter

Finally unshackled by the grasp of winter, the arrival of spring means the return of green nature, including with them, the threat of invasive plant species. On Meridian Township’s 2016 strategic goal list, it includes a plan to continue in managing invasive species in its many parks and land preserves. The list includes garlic mustard, buckthorn, autumn olive, Japanese knotweed, Japanese hedge parsley and phragmites. While Michigan’s and Meridian’s flora is host to many species of invasive plants, garlic mustard is considered one of the worst and fastest spreading. It is a biennial plant, meaning it has a lifespan of two years.

Bird enthusiast builds and teaches others about different feeders at workshop

By Jordan Goltz
Meridian Times staff writer

MERIDIAN TOWNSHIP- Songbird enthusiast Gene Wasserman hosted a Bird Feeder Workshop at the Harris Nature Center where children and parents could build and purchase their very own bird feeders, while learning about different kinds of feeders and songbirds. “It’s a hobby that got out of control,” said Wasserman, a retired bird enthusiast, who enjoys giving back to the community. “All profits go to the Nature Center, as well as some donations to the Boy Scouts.”

On Sept. 29, 2013, participants were given the chance to put together one of four types of feeders: a hopper, suet, bluebird, or peanut butter style feeder. The event was free.

Harris Nature Center teaches birdwatchers

By Isabella Shaya
Meridian Times staff writer
Community members interested in finding out more about bird watching can learn from experts at the Harris Nature Center, 3998 Van Atta Road, in Okemos. On March 23, three people learned about the activity of bird watching from Clara Bratton, a volunteer with the Harris Nature Center who has bird watched for more than 35 years. The Harris Nature Center is open year-round and offers programs and activities for all ages, and has a variety of wildlife inside the center. East Lansing resident Diane Cortright said she came to the class because she is interested in learning more about the birds in her backyard. “I could go buy a book but I’d rather do a class setting,” Cortright said.

Residents 'Howl at the Moon' at Harris Nature Center

By Molly Mason
Meridian Times staff writer

On Feb. 22 brought together nature-lovers and dog-lovers in Meridian Township. TheHarris Nature Center, on Van Atta Road in Okemos, hosted “Howl at the Moon,” a guided walk through the parks of Okemos with dogs and their owners. Leashes are mandatory but flashlights are suggested. The cost is three dollars per person.

Halloween adventures big hit despite bad weather

By Dana Casadei
Meridian Times staff writer

MERIDIAN TOWNSHIP — October is the month of horror films, blood, guts and terror,but Halloween Adventures at the Harris Nature Center is filled with children’s laughter, the crackling of a fire pit and the sounds of fall finally hitting, letting visitors have an outing that is family friendly. On Saturday, Oct. 29, visitors could bring their children and participate in a variety of activities, spread throughout the nature center and cost $5 for child that participated. “It has continued to grow,” said Kit Rich, Senior Park Naturalist and Nature Center Coordinator. “That’s one of the things that we like to do with any of our programs that are ongoing for a number of years is to not let them be static.

Harris nature center hosts howl at the moon

By Dana Casadei
Meridian Times staff writer

MERIDIAN TOWNSHIP — On a perfect fall evening, with the temperature just right, a group gathers, with their dogs and friends, to take part in the Harris Nature Center’s Howl at the Moon event, which takes place once a month. “It’s a special event because the Harris Nature Center rarely does night events,” said Rebekah Faivor, Assistant Naturalist, who led the walk. The event took place on Friday, Oct. 14, which started around 7:30 p.m. and lasted about an hour. The walk began at the Harris Nature Center parking lot and is usually a full loop, ending at East Gate Park, but due to flooding issues on the trail this group didn’t complete the full loop, with everyone turning around half way.

Recycling event brings big attention to township

By Dana Casadei
Meridian Times staff writer

Nancy Moore Park, located off Okemos Road, became home to the Meridian Recycling Committee’s tenth Recycling/Reuse event this past weekend. The event, which lasted from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 1, was spread out among two of the park’s parking lots. The front lot had a tent, which was for book donations, and was a place for volunteers to collect pieces of metal and bicycles, among other things. The back lot had Vintage Tech collecting all types of electronics, from computers to batteries, and was a place where people could watch their documents be shredded by Accu-Shred, according to the press release sent out in regard to the event.