Explore Michigan's inland lakes during Lake Appreciation Month

Investigate components of lake ecology and common aquatic plants that are part of a lake ecosystem in upcoming educational workshop.

Each year, the North American Lake Management Society (NALMS) promotes the value and health of the nation’s lakes and reservoirs by designating July as “Lakes Appreciation Month”, an undertaking it also founded. This year, the Michigan Inland Lake Partnership, which promotes collaboration to advance stewardship of Michigan’s inland lakes, worked with Governor Rick Snyder to proclaim July 2016 as “Lakes Appreciation Month” in Michigan.

This is a great time for those who enjoy Michigan’s inland lakes to take the opportunity to consider learning more about inland lake ecology, the study of the interrelationship between living organisms and the chemical and physical components of the environment within a non-flowing body of fresh water. There are more than 11,000 inland lakes in Michigan alone, and each lake has unique ecological properties which people influence by their activities on the land and in the water.

Consider attending the Michigan State University Extension’s upcoming “Investigating Lake Ecology” workshop on July 23, 2016 to celebrate Lakes Appreciation Month. This workshop is specifically designed to help increase lake appreciation through hands-on educational activities. This workshop, sponsored by Michigan State University Extension (MSUE) and Oakland County Parks, will be held on Saturday, July 23, 2016 at Independence Oaks County Park in the Wint Nature Center, 9501 Sashabaw Road, Clarkston, Michigan 48348 from 9:00 a.m. - 1:00 p.m. Participants will have the opportunity to explore Independence Oaks County Park’s Crooked Lake via rowboats and a pontoon boat. Opportunities for further exploration will also take place inside the Wint Nature Center.

The specific learning objectives of this workshop include:

  • investigating components of ecology and seasonal changes that can impact a lake ecosystem
  • exploring water chemistry and other physical/biological tests to gauge lake health
  • exploring aquatic life in the lake’s transition zone (area between land and water) that helps promote a healthy ecosystem
  • collecting and identifying native aquatic plant species
  • collecting and identify aquatic invasive species, and how to prevent their spread

The workshop will be led by Michigan State University’s Dr. Lois Wolfson, Michigan Clean Water Corp’s Angela De Palma-Dow and Erick Elgin, Oakland County Park’s Kathleen Dougherty and Tyler Mitchell, and MSUE’s Bindu Bhakta and Matt Mulford.


“I enjoyed learning about the different lake classifications and how lakes change over time by themselves,” said Betsy Pollock, who participated in the 2015 workshop. “It was somewhat disturbing and eye opening how much damage we as humans can cause. I would definitely say that anyone who has a love for lakes or has property on a lake would get a lot out of this program, be able to educate others, and stop aquatic hitch hikers."                                                                                                    

Pre-registration is required. Registration cost is $35/person by July 15, 2016. The cost is $45/person on or after July 16, 2016. Workshop registration fee includes park entry, light morning refreshments, and educational resources. The deadline to register is July 21, 2016. After this date, please call (248) 858-1639 to see if space is still available. This educational workshop has also been approved by Michigan Department of Agriculture and Rural Development for four pesticide applicator recertification credits in Category 5 (Aquatics).

For complete workshop details including online registration, visit the Lake Ecology event page

Another event you may consider participating in to help celebrate Lakes Appreciation Month is Aquatic Invasive Species Landing Blitz , focused on boater education, being held July 1-10.

For more information about “Lakes Appreciation Month” in Michigan, visit the Michigan Chapter of the North American Lake Management Society web site.

For more information on inland lakes, visit the MSU Extension Natural Resources page.

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