Arbor Day, High Water Town Hall, Bioblitz

For Friday, April 24, 2020

1 – Wednesday was the 50th anniversary of Earth Day. 

The last Friday in April, is Arbor Day.

Arbor Day was first held in 1872 and is dedicated to trees. 

Michigan has 20 million acres of forests. 

The state Department of Natural Resources notes that trees clean our air and water, make homes for wildlife, create forests to hike and bike through, absorb carbon, keep us cool, supply renewable materials and provide natural beauty.

Arbor Day was championed by J. Sterling Morton, a Michigan native. He envisioned it as a way to spread awareness about the importance of trees and encourage tree planting.  

Ways to celebrate Arbor Day this year include challenging your family to a “What Tree Is That?” contest. Information is online at

background beautiful blossom calm waters
Photo by Pixabay on

2 –
Michigan is holding a second high water virtual town hall. 

This one is Tuesday, April 28, from 5-6:30 p.m. 

It’s a public webinar, and will focus on Great Lakes shoreline erosion and permitting. 

Presentations will be made by staff from the Michigan Department of Environment, Great Lakes, and Energy; Michigan Technological University; the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and others. 

Topics will include permitting processes and alternatives for homes or critical structures that are in jeopardy.

Michigan’s water levels are at their highest in more than two decades, officials say. The levels have caused millions of dollars in damage to private property and public infrastructure, impacted community water systems and caused public health concerns.

The first High Water virtual Town Hall in March covered high water impacts around the state. 

A recording can be found at

You also can go there to register for April 28 webinar.

3 –
A Michigan Bioblitz is underway.

This bioblitz started on Earth Day and will go until May 20. A bioblitz is a communal citizen-science effort to record as many species as possible within a designated location and time period.

Educators and families are welcome to participate and record observations of wild living things using the iNaturalist app. 

Organizers say good photos will be added to the project, and observations in Michigan will be compared to those in other states and provinces as part of a Great Lakes Bioblitz. 

At last count, earlier this week, Pennsylvania was in the lead with close to 1,300 observations. Michigan was in last place with less than 100. 

iNaturalist is a joint initiative of the California Academy of Sciences and the National Geographic Society.

See for more information.

– Mr. Great Lakes is heard Friday mornings in Bay City, Michigan, on Delta College Q-90.1 FM NPR (now streaming). Follow @jeffkart on Twitter #MrGreatLakes


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