The Kleinstuck Preserve is owned and managed by Western Michigan University. Following the Land Management Plan for Kleinstuck Preserve, WMU has been clearing a wet meadow for the past three years which has been inundated by invasive shrubs such as Glossy and European Buckthorn. The cut shrubs have been placed in piles in the wet meadow of the preserve as they have been cut. WMU has received direction from Kalamazoo City Fire Marshal Williams on how to burn these piles to remove them from the area. This burn will take place while the ground is wet during the spring season to ensure safety. Following are details related to the brush pile burn that will take place in the preserve.
Western Michigan University, working in cooperation with the City of Kalamazoo Fire Marshal’s Office will contact the fire department the day of the burn to receive a permit if conditions are deemed appropriate. Burn crew personnel will be available by cell phone throughout the burn.
Over a series of weeks up to 15 brush piles will be burned. Fire safety will be the highest priority. Efforts will be made to burn during weather conditions that will produce as little smoke as possible drifting towards homes. If excessive smoke occurs, the piles will be extinguished.
While weather conditions are appropriate and approval is granted by the City of Kalamazoo Fire Marshal. It is expected that this will be during a window of time between mid-April to mid-May.
In Kleinstuck Preserve at a wet meadow located inside the main loop trail and at the southeastern edge of the marsh. See attached map.
Until relatively recently, this area was a large wet meadow hosting a variety of native plant and animal life and offering scenic beauty to the users of the preserve. Over the past several years, it has been inundated with a few exotic invasive species, particularly Glossy Buckthorn, compromising both the visual beauty of the area and the quality and diversity of plant and animal life. The wet meadow was reduced to less than an acre in size, but restoration efforts have expanded it significantly. The open area will be even larger once the piles are removed, creating better habitat and a vista into the meadow.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact:
· Steve Keto, WMU Natural Areas and Preserves Manager (email@example.com)
· Paul MacNellis, Stewards of Kleinstuck (firstname.lastname@example.org)
· WMU Landscape Services Office (387-8557)
This management plan was drafted with support from the WMU Natural Areas Program, Nate Fuller (Stewardship Director of the Southwest Michigan Land Conservancy), the Stewards of Kleinstuck Management Committee and other ecologically savvy community members.
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The Stewards of Kleinstuck (SoK) is a group of neighbors and land management experts formed in the fall of 2007 around our love for the 48-acre Kleinstuck Preserve. We've noticed over the years that the landscape has changed greatly with many of our beautiful Michigan natives being driven out by invasive species. The pond has been largely filled in by erosion and invasive plants and without active land management the preserve with continue to decline. One of the major problems with these invasive species is that they don't have natural predators in this area so they dominate and drive out the natives creating areas with only one or two varieties of plants. These areas of limited diversity are very unstable and vulnerable. So our goal is to gradually remove the invasive species and allow the natives to return and restore the balance. These efforts will benefit the land quality in and around Kleinstuck, but also the ground water quality, much of which drains down through Kleinstuck.
We have so far received wonderful support from neighbors as well as Western Michigan University who own the property. One of our greatest assets is Nate Fuller, Conservation Director of the Southwest Michigan Land Conservancy (SWMLC, swmlc.org) and resident of Hillcrest neighborhood near Kleinstuck preserve. He has offered his professional services to design a management plan for Kleinstuck and is committed to guiding our work and teaching us about the land and its preservation. He has broad experience, extensive knowledge in ecology and land-management, and is passionate about protecting natural areas. We also have Paul MacNellis, with 39 years of experience in landscaping at Western Michigan University, and an equally strong commitment to helping preserve Kleinstuck. Stephan Keto, Natural Areas and Preserves Manager at WMU, is also an invaluable asset to our organization.
If you're interested in helping we'd love to hear from you. We can use people to cut down invasive shrubs, pull out invasive plants, haul brush, help with monitoring our progress, and many other things. If you think you have a skill that we might be able to use, we'd love to be able to get your help--we can use help in all sizes and shapes! Please go to our Contact page to email us your thoughts.