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Crosswinds Marsh

Courtney Kiley’s Ecology class takes their new knowledge on forest management to Crosswind Marsh in Wayne County, MI.
Stephanie Hadley
On Oct. 26, Students Walk along the boardwalk during their hike through Crosswinds Marsh. As they walked through the marsh, Molly Hamalainen couldn’t believe how big the wetland actually was. “I couldn’t believe that it was not only a man-made Marsh,” Hamalainen Said. “But how far it went.”

After almost a month of learning about Michigan trees, forest management and forest health, Courtney Kiley’s Ecology class took their new knowledge not just outside the classroom, but outside Washtenaw County as well. On Oct. 26, the class, accompanied by not just their teacher Kiley, but FOS teachers Marcy McCormick and Liz Stern as well, took a 9:30 a.m. bus to Crosswinds Marsh in Wayne County, MI, where they spent the rest of their day exploring one of the largest man-made wetlands in the country.

The trip began with a three-mile hike through the marsh that consisted of tree identifications, bald-eagle sightings and other facts about the wetland and its wildlife. Ecology student, Briar Nordstrom, couldn’t believe how natural the 1,000 acres of man-made wetland seemed.

“[It surprised me] just how expensive Crosswinds Marsh was,” Nordstrom said. “It was very interesting to see how natural it has become over time and how it compares to other similar wetlands.”

Following the hike, students had an hour to eat lunch and spend time with their friends exploring the marsh. But the trip didn’t end there; students gathered around the picnic table, set up along the edge of the water, where they took a trip down memory lane to the benthic invertebrates unit they learned during freshman year in FOS I. Everyone split into small groups where they were given a net, a plastic bin, tweezers and the task of catching as many benthos as possible.

For Nordstrom, this part of the trip didn’t feel as special because they had already participated in benthic sampling.

“I liked walking around. The benthic sampling thing that we did was fun, but I’ve done that before. So it wasn’t as special for me as it might be for somebody else,” Nordstrom said. “I enjoyed the walk because it was entertaining and I liked the exercise.”

Overall, Nordstrom’s favorite part of the trip was how much information they came back with. They learned things about the plants and trees, like their medical uses, that most people never would have thought of when walking through a marsh or forest.

“I definitely enjoyed the learning,” Norstrom said. “There was a lot of information about the medical uses of some of the plants and just sort of the history around the place despite it being constructed artificially.”

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About the Contributor
Stephanie Hadley, Journalist
Stephanie Hadley is a senior at CHS and is in the Dudley forum. This is her second year on the yearbook staff and she can't wait to start learning and creating with her classmates again. Stephanie spends the majority of her free time with her friends, but when she isn't with them she enjoys cooking and taking her dog on walks.

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