In 2011, Tall Pines received a donation of a .39 acre parcel of land located on the north end of North Lake next to the North Lake Yacht Club. The property contains a vernal pond, which provides critical breeding habitat for certain invertebrates, as well as amphibians such as wood frogs, turtles and several species of salamanders. Ephemeral ponds also offer feeding, resting and breeding habitat for songbirds and a source of food for many mammals. As a result, ephemeral ponds contribute in many ways to the biodiversity of a woodlot, forest stand and the larger landscape. This property is especially significant since natural shorelines and wetlands are becoming increasingly replaced with lawns and hard barriers such as rocks and concrete.
Since we acquired the property, Tall Pines has hosted several educational work parties with students from ULS, Arrowhead High School and Marquette University High School to remove buckthorn, plant sedges, grasses and wetland flowers, install bio-logs and observe the abundance of wildlife. There is a resident green frog who needs at least 20 feet of natural shoreline to breed and a black crowned night heron who frequently feeds at the site. Both are “species of special concern” by the WDNR.
In 2017, TPC worked with an Eagle Scout candidate to create a demonstration garden that shows the types of trees and shrubs that can be planted to replace buckthorn.
In 2019, Tall Pines Conservancy partnered with the North Lake Management District in successfully applying for a Healthy Lakes Grant. A portion of these funds was used to purchase shoreline plants, which were planted by employees of Techniplas (formerly Dickten Masch) as a community service project.