Managing Natural Resources

The Outdoor Discovery Center Macatawa Greenway supports conservation efforts and works with private and public landowners. We help manage natural resources and combat invasive species infestations to improve and sustain wildlife habitat.

Macatawa River Greenway

Lake Macatawa

The goal of this community wide effort is to remediate the water quality issues of Lake Macatawa and the Macatawa Watershed. This multi-phased approach provides solutions focused on land restoration, Best Management Practices (BMPs), community education, and long term sustainability. The advantage of this phased approach is that each phase builds on its predecessor, thereby avoiding redundancy and  providing flexibility in implementation. We include solutions that address the problems of Lake Macatawa both at the source (passive wetland restoration) and further downstream.

Go to the Project Clarity website

Prescribed Fire

Prescribed Fire

Prescribed fire (also called controlled burning) will suppress non-native and invasive species which are often fire intolerant and help create a more biologically diverse ecosystem. It recycles nutrients, minerals and naturally occurring metals back to the soil while also benefitting fire-adapted native species. Removing dead plant material also allows the soil to be warmed which stimulates new plant growth.

Using licensed professionals, we manage the ODC Nature Preserve grassland and wetland ecosystems with controlled buns. We also work with the City of Holland to manage the Macatawa Marsh and the Pottowatomi Club in Saugatuck to manage the Pottawatomi marsh.

Learn more from these great sources:

Michigan DNR

Prescribed Fire in Michigan

A number of the ODCMG staff are certified Hunter’s Safety Education instructors. We believe a critical part of proper management is helping to send safe and ethical sportsmen and sportswomen into the field. Several classes are offered throughout the year including full certification classes and field day segments that are intended to complete certification for people that have gone through the on-line class modules.

Michigan Hunter’s Safety Education Program

Purple Loosestrife

Purple Loosestrife

Since 2001, we have been involved in the rearing and distribution of purple loosestrife beetles within our watershed. These natural predators to loosestrife act as a biological control to help suppress the plants and to both reduce and keep the plant’s populations in check. We expanded our efforts in the late 2000′s to include the Pottawatomi Marsh within the Kalamazoo River system near Douglas/Saugatuck.

Purple Loosestrife page from the US Department of Agriculture

Common Reed

Common Reed

Since 2008, we have increased our efforts to combat Phragmites, also known as common reed grass. Through a regiment of targeted chemical applications and prescribed burns, we are working to reduce and hopefully eliminate the species from the Macatawa Marsh and Pottawatomi Marsh.

Common Reed page from the US Department of Agriculture