Good thing Michigan hasn’t hit anywhere near bathing suit temperatures yet because the beach isn’t ready for us. Metro Beach, in Harrison Township, made news recently – not for its peaceful waterfront – but for a host of supervised fires.
Natural Resources Department firefighters and officials have been conducting a controlled burn to rid the 350 acres of phragmites – that’s a fancy term for reeds or perennial grasses that grow in wetland areas.
According to a story in the Mount Clemens-Clinton-Harrison Journal, the process is part of a four-year program at the Metropark. The phragmites were treated last year with an herbicide to kills the plant at its root.
The next step? Burning the weeds. If left alone, the phragmites have a tendancy to take over and compromise the growth of other wildlife in the area. Harrison Township Supervisor Anthony Forlini was quoted in the story, giving this explanation: “The problem is natural species can’t grow with this heavy thatch of phragmites.”
The program is covered by a grant from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Department, the Marsh Restoration Project is being handled by multiple agencies. Among them are the Michigan Department of Natural Resources and Environment, Harrison Township, Ducks Unlimited, Michigan Sea Grant and the Southeast Michigan Council of Governments. It’s been attempted in fits and starts due to high winds and uncooperative weather.
We want to know your thoughts. Does this process of battling these weeds concern you or impact your decision to visit the park?
Tell us what Metro Beach means to you. Is it a favorite summer destination?