Friends, volunteers, and folks new to our work joined staff members and Trustees on October 12 for a fall colors tour at our Sharon Hills Preserve that included stops along the way for wine tasting, chocolate, and crackers. It was a beautiful, sunny day with a slight chill in the air and the leaves on the trees were close to peaking. Attendees learned how and why trees change color in the fall while savoring selections from Pentamere Winery in Tecumseh and delectable sweets donated by Mindo Chocolates in Dexter. There was even a drawing for a door prize – chocolate making lessons for four people, also donated by Mindo.
Trustee and naturalist Neal Billetdeaux and native plant landscaper Matt Demmon provided their expertise in leading the hikes. Neal designs natural environments and green infrastructure for parks and open spaces, waterfronts, regional parks, natural systems, and habitat for SmithGroup in Ann Arbor. Matt’s work includes organic farming, landscape design, native plant propagation, prescribed burns, invasive plant control, and natural areas management planning as Feral Flora, also in Ann Arbor. Special thanks to additional volunteers: Legacy Trustee Charity Steere and Tania Evans from the Waterloo Hunt Club!
The Sharon Hills Nature Preserve contains over 67 acres of forest, wetlands, and open areas. It’s a great place for bird watching year-round and cross country skiing in the winter. The property was donated by David and Ellie Shappirio, John Allen, Edith Maynard, and Sally Allen in December of 2000. It is the only Legacy Preserve where horseback riding and falconry (with a permit) are allowed.