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Rivers Edge Park

Overlooking Historic Travel Routes  
 Anishinabek Historic Tavel Routes Map When you look north across the Rogue River from
Rivers Edge Park, you are looking into human history.
Historic trail routes of  Anishinabek Native Americans
passed along the north bank of the Rogue River,
through what is now 169 acres of Rogue River
State Game Area.

The State Game Area is public land, which means
you can walk in the Anishinabek's footsteps.
   
Poison Ivy
(Toxicodendron radicans)
 
Poison Ivy Image  Poison Ivy is a common plant in North America,
especially in riparian areas.  It likes transition areas,
along forest edges, trails and roads. Poison Ivy is
common in Rivers Edge Park and elsewhere along
the Rogue River. 

Watch out!  Poison Ivy uses a natural substance
called “urushiol” to keep itself safe.  Just a touch of
this oil on you, and you may itch for weeks.  The
plant may be identified by its three-leaf pattern,
which features waxy leaves, serrated leaf edges,
and a rose-colored area where the leaf stems join.

   
Sensitive Fern
(Onoclen sensibilis)
 
Sensitive Fern Image Sensitive ferns can be found all over Michigan and
beyond, growing in moist soils in shaded or
partly-shaded areas.  Their spores form in sori, which
resemble beads on an upright pole.  They use these
to reproduce, which they do well.  Sensitive ferns
really like to create their own colonies.

Sensitive fern got its name because people noticed
how sensitive the fronds are to frost.  

   
American Hornbeam
(Carpus Caroliniana)
 
American Hornbeam Tree Image American hornbeam goes by several names, including 
“musclewood.”  It’s easy to see why:  the bark and
leaves resemble those of beech trees, and the ripples
in the bark look and feel like muscles.

Hornbeams are often found in moist areas, in the
shady understory.  Their wood is dense and hard,
which led to its historic use for tool handles.

   
Red Maple (Acer rubrum), Silver Maple (Acer saccharinum), Sugar Maple (Acer saccharum)  
Red Silver Sugar Maple Trees Image Rivers Edge Park is home to several maple species. 
Along the ridge in the middle of the property are
several Sugar Maples.  Acer saccharum is
slow-growing, with very hard wood.  They also
produce sap for maple syrup.

Red and Silver Maples are very adaptable to
different habitats.  They are fast-growing, with
soft wood and a tolerance for moist soils.   
   
Vernal Pools  
Vernal Pools Image Vernal pools are seasonal, shallow reservoirs of
water, most often collected from surface runoff,
snow melt and rain.  Water volume in vernal pools
typically lowers substantially through the summer,
meaning most vernal pools are absent fish
populations.  This makes them ideal amphibian
habitat, as there are no fish to eat them and their
young.

Watch this vernal pool change from spring to summer. 
Once dry, it often harbors a bright red cardinal flower,
or two. 

   
Killdeer
(Charadrius vociferous)
 
Killdeer Bird Image The killdeer is a type of plover.  They nest in the
spring, typically on the ground in substrate that
camouflages their eggs well.  Killdeer eat insects. 
They are most known for their faked “broken wing”
act meant to lure predators away from their nest. 

Killdeer Nest with Eggs Image The photo of the eggs to the right was taken
along the driveway to Rivers Edge Park. Keep a look out for killdeer!
   
Jack in the Pulpit
(Arisaema triphyllum)
 
Jack in the Pulpit Image This unique plant grows in the shade in wetland
areas.  There is some perfect habitat for jack-in-
the-pulpit at Rivers Edge Park, and you can
find them scattered in the shady, damp areas. 
Early in the summer they show a delicate flower; later, they are adorned with bright red berries.

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