On September 21st roughly 30 friends, neighbors, volunteers, and Legacy staff members gathered to celebrate the official ribbon cutting for a new trailhead and parking area at the Beckwith Preserve. Guests enjoyed cider and donuts compliments of the Dexter Cider Mill and Dimo’s Deli and Donuts. The preserve is located in the Village of Stockbridge and was donated by Campbell and Fran Laird in 1999. Fran gave a brief history of the property and Campbell fired off a ceremonial salute from his miniature cannon. There was a drawing for several prizes and an introduction to our work for those new to us by Executive Director Diana Kern.
The 30-acre parcel is a mix of woodlands, meadows, and wetlands through which Portage Creek flows. The Portage Creek watershed is the cleanest sub-watershed of the Huron River, and protected lands such as the Beckwith Preserve help to keep it that way. The Beckwith Preserve was the second Preserve to be donated to Legacy.
Campbell also mustered most of the volunteers for the completion of the project, many from the Stockbridge Lions Club. Tom Clark and Bill Stickney, both Lions, attended every workday and gathered other members to help with the installation of a split rail fence. Jo Mayer was also a consistent champion of the project and even helped us raise funds for a new sign. Grateful thanks to all!
Following the ceremonies our Land Stewardship Coordinator Allene Smith took the group on a guided nature hike where she pointed out unusual plants, those that have been used for medicinal purposes, and the nature of the topography. It was a beautiful day and it was clear that the attendees left invigorated by their outing in nature.