Native Shrub Planting Project Scheduled

Four groups will combine efforts to install a demonstration planting of native shrubs valuable to wildlife on a stretch of the Iron Belle Trail in Ironwood.  Volunteers from the Friends of the Iron Belle Trail, the City of Ironwood, the US Forest Service and the Gogebic Conservation District will gather at 9AM, Saturday, May 13 to do the work.  The planting will be in an area of the trail between Suffolk and Curry streets, near L.L. Wright High School.

The project is the concluding phase of work done on the trail segment to remove non-native invasive plant infestations and reestablish beneficial native plants.  According to Enni Gregas, two work details late last year removed cubic yards of invasive plants.  “Our Friends group and others cleared out a great deal of this segment of the trail, and the following week, students from L.L. Wright under Cheryl Jacisin’s direction finished the job.  Herbicide was applied to the cut stumps of the bushes so that they won’t sprout again.  The City of Ironwood had a crew carry the mountain of material away.  It was an eye opening undertaking.”

This last phase is to plant some beneficial shrubs and small trees, along with a pollinator garden.  Jim Finley, Conservation District administrator said: “We’ll plant eight different varieties of shrubs – redosier dogwood, highbush cranberry, American hazelnut, serviceberry, nannyberry, black chokeberry, and common elderberry – in separate clumps.  As these mature, people will be able to see and identify some of the most important plants providing food and shelter for wildlife in this part of America.  An added benefit is that they are attractive plants, with showy flowers, and many with fruits that humans enjoy, too.”

For more information regarding wildlife plant species or to volunteer for this planting project, contact the District by phone at 906-663-4512, or email at