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Nature Worth Preserving - Blue Heron's Blog

  • Writer's pictureHope Herron

Big Help for a Little Butterfly: Thank you, we reached our goal!

Thank you to all who contributed to the "Big Help for a Little

Butterfly" campaign. The goal to purchase and steward land for the critically endangered Poweshiek Skipperling has been reached. An additional 21.5 acres, now known as the Butterfly Preserve, was purchased in Davisburg, Michigan with the initial help of The Conservation Fund, The Americana Foundation, The Consumers Energy Foundation and many individual supporters

This brings the total land owned by Blue Heron Headwaters Conservancy

for the targeted purpose of protecting the environment for the fragile

butterfly to over 26 acres.  Together with Springfield Township's land

in the Shiawassee Basin Preserve, there should now be enough of the

right ecosystem for its future survival.  The final phase of the

$275,000 campaign focused on the stewardship needed to protect and

enhance this land forever.  An anonymous donor offered a $30,000 match

which encouraged the many individual supporters to give even more


What is next?  The John Ball Zoo in Grand Rapids is raising caterpillars to the stage where they can be reintroduced to the Davisburg fens, avoiding the complete collapse of the population which had dwindled to less than 100 worldwide. BHHC is doing its part to remove invasives and replant natives to improve the fen (wetland) landscape.  It is also planning an overlook above the fen where visitors can see the scenic valley below without trampling on any of the tiny caterpillars.  The conservancy remains an active partner in the International Poweshiek Collaborative headed by the US Fish and Wildlife Service and learns from the collective wisdom of the scientists researching the butterfly's survival.

Our special thanks to the many donors who understood the need to save a vanishing species so close to where we live.  We will keep you updated as to the success of the collective effort to bring the population back from the brink.

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