Jump into spring with a nature walk

By: Cari DeLamielleure-Scott | West Bloomfield Beacon | Published March 28, 2016

 Suresh Balchandiani, of Orchard Lake, reads spring quotes while on the 2015 Spring Nature Walk.

Suresh Balchandiani, of Orchard Lake, reads spring quotes while on the 2015 Spring Nature Walk.

File photo by Erin Sanchez


ORCHARD LAKE —  The Greater West Bloomfield Historical Society is urging residents to get out and enjoy the fruits of the season at the Spring Nature Walk at 2 p.m. April 17. 

The walk — held at the Orchard Lake Nature Sanctuary — is hosted in conjunction with the city of Orchard Lake, which owns the sanctuary. Guided by the Historical Society’s naturalist, Carol Fink, residents will get a chance to explore the changing of seasons and find new growth and blooming snowdrops. A walk is also held during autumn.  

The family-friendly walk lasts about an hour, and attendees should dress for the weather and bring a camera. 

“It’s just a really nice way to spend a couple hours in the woods,” Fink said.

The walk can either be a group- or self-guided nature tour. In years past, 40-50 people have attended, and Fink said that because the sanctuary is peaceful and a place for thinking and connecting with nature, people may want to split off. Fink will provide flower and bird guides to those who venture from the group. 

“The main point is people are out and enjoying the woods,” Fink said. 

The Orchard Lake Nature Sanctuary, though it’s a smaller wooded area, offers a variety of ecosystems, Fink said. From maple trees to wildflowers to wildlife, walkers are in for a treat when they explore the 35 acres. 

Because of the partnership with the city, Orchard Lake donates saplings, which are then given out to those in attendance. In the past, Fink said, the city has donated Michigan evergreens. Snacks will be provided by the Historical Society. 

“It’s a beautiful partnership, and that’s a nice thing for people to know about and understand,” Fink said. “It’s great that we’re working together with the common goal of enriching our community. … We’ve had people who have gotten trees and planted them, and now the trees are 4 to 5 feet tall.”  

Greg Nelson, foreman/forester for the city’s Department of Public Works, said the kind of pine trees varies from year to year, but the city typically donates about 30 trees.

“I don’t know how it started, but we thought it was a nice touch to go along with the nature walk just to go home and plant a tree,” Nelson said. 

More information can be found at www.gwbhs.org. The walk will start at the head of the trail. Participants should meet in the parking lot of the Orchard Lake Nature Sanctuary, on Pontiac Trail, just west of Old Orchard Trail.