Why Work at Wetzel Park?

October 18, 2011

I wanted to tell a story here, on why anyone should go out on a Saturday and work at a State Park. I have been visiting Wetzel State Recreation area for almost 40 years now. Back then, being the only State Park in Macomb Co., and surrounded by mostly old Farm lands, it was overgrown, little used except by locals, and was the old Farmers dumping grounds for farming equipment and utensils. Not a pretty site.

Still…..with Coon creek cutting through the center of the Park, and being a main drainage for much of the area, there was alot of life in this Park. When it looked like the DNR would either sell off much of the Park or just let it waste away, a group of people formed a FRIENDS group and started to change things at the Park, little by little.

Slowly removing tons of old equipment, nurturing the Natural Resources back to health, and creating some natural ponds to help with drainage and forming water fowl habitats. These are things you would think would come from the protectors of our Natural Resources, the state DNR, but instead……it took these dedicated group of FRIENDS, working hard both at the Park and in Lansing, to totally change the face and make-up of this now beautiful place.

I have watched these things happen for 40 years now, and have seen them culminate to what any good conservationist or Natural Resource person would be proud of. Yet the FRIENDS of Wetzel State Recreation area has not stopped with all their accomplishments to date. They continue to work at Invasive species, maintenance of the trails, ponds and recreational activities. They sponsor nature programs for local grade school children, showing them the natural world through the healthy and thriving park ecosystems.

If ever there was a good reason to help out and work at a State Park, it would be to assist this FRIENDS group in the work they continue to do, to this day. Not for any personal glory…..not for any money or careers…..not because they have too. But because they truly care about the only State Recreation area in Macomb County. The only place many people and children have as THEIR lands to enjoy the natural world.

That is why it is worth coming out on a Saturday morning, and assisting a group that has done so much for the natural world that has benefitted all of us who have visited this Park.

Hope to see you all out at Wetzel Park, on Saturday, 10/22/11, at 9am-1pm, for an Invasive species work program, removing the Autumn Olive. A Hot Dog Lunch will be provided by the FRIENDS group afterwards.



One comment

  1. Rob, your words are too kind. Thanks so much for your dedication to Wetzel SRA and Friends. Looking forward to seeing you Saturday.

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