During the construction, to reach the Collin Learning Center at Crosroads, take the highway detour to County T (Alabama Street) cross the highway to Big Creek Road and turn right. Proceed to Lily Bay Road and turn right. Lily Bay Road will merge with Michigan and the Crossroads entrance will be on your left.
Folks already are training for the Crossroads Trail Run scheduled for June 18. [visit http://www.crossroadsrun.com/ for details] Here is the good news: it looks like there will be enough shirts for all finishers, so it’s not too late to register. Will there be prizes? Oh, yes. And wonderful refreshments like in other years? Absolutely! And will every finisher receive an evergreen from Evergreen? No.
This year, still due the generosity of Evergreen Nursery, every finisher will receive a shrub called Ninebark. An Internet search will turn up at least nine different stories of how this native shrub with the exfoliating bark was named. The bark does peel off in strips, but do the strips curl up to form the number” 9”? Not really. Are there nine layers, each a slightly different color? Maybe. Or when the bark peeled off completely, maybe German settlers named it “Nein Bark.” That one is really a stretch.
Ninebark is perfect shrub for distribution. It grows well in sun, but almost as well in shade. It tolerates most soil types. It thrives in wet years, but it keeps growing even in a drought. You can prune it or let it go wild, and if grows too big, you can cut it down to nubbins and it will grow right back. And it is attractive and not invasive.
But that’s not all. This plant attracts honey bees, wild bees, butterflies, beneficial wasps and flies, and birds. Those birds feed on the insects, nest in the dense branches, and eat the fruit. According to the ecologist, Dr Doug Tallamy, 41 butterflies and moths use Ninebark as their host plant. Understand that not all of those species occur in Wisconsin, but a number of butterflies lay their eggs on Ninebark and Ninebark alone.
Before we host the Trail Run, Crossroads is proud to host Healthy Water Door County’s second year of Well Testing. Healthy Water Door County is a fund of the Door County Community Foundation. According to Bret Bicoy, “Healthy Water awarded a grant to the Environmental Research and Innovation Center (ERIC) from UW-Oshkosh to offer a county-wide well monitoring program.
“While the test kits are free to those seeking them, they are not free to the community. Healthy Water has purchased the kits for $70 per test and will pay considerable additional costs to analyze the water sample [in the lab at Crossroads.]
“Those who are able might consider making a contribution to Healthy Water for your test and for your neighbors who may not be able to financially contribute. If you choose to purchase your test kit, the money saved will be used to support other water projects in Door County.”
If you had a test done last year, you may wonder if you should test again this year.
On Thursday, June 9 at 6:00 in the Lecture Hall at the Collins Learning Center, ERIC will offer the educational outreach program “Drinking Water: Why Should I Test Well Water Annually?” Caitlin Koller of ERIC will explain the importance of analyzing water from their private wells yearly. Door County residents will learn of common water quality contaminants (Bacteria, Nitrate, Arsenic, Lead, and Iron) and how they can affect human health. Test kits will be distributed after the lecture and then on Friday 10th and 11th.
Crossroads at Big Creek is a community-supported preserve welcoming learners of all ages to programs in science, history and the environment. The Collins Learning Center, located at 2041 Michigan, is open 2:00-4:30 daily and during scheduled events. During the construction, to reach the center, take the highway detour to County T (Alabama Street) cross the highway to Big Creek Road and turn right. Proceed to Lily Bay Road and turn right. Lily Bay Road will merge with Michigan and the Crossroads entrance will be on your left.