River Country Journal
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June 17, 2013

Program on protecting lakes and natural shorelines to be presented at Fabius Twp Hall on Saturday, June 22

Fabius Township Hall sign

A two-hour free program on protecting lakes and natural shorelines will be presented at the Fabius Township Hall on Saturday, June 22, beginning at 2 p.m. The Township Hall is at 13108 Broadway Road, about two and a half miles west of U.S. 131.

The program,  sponsored by the Fabius Township Environmental and Wetlands Protection Advisory Committee, will feature presentations by Ken Kesson, a Michigan  DNR Wildlife Biologist, and Patty Hoch-Melluish, an environmental consultant and project scientist.  Also on hand with displays and information will be Jared Foster, a local vendor of native plants and grasses, and Matt Schmitt, an experienced installer of docks in environmentally sensitive situations.  Attendance is open to all and refreshments will be served, courtesy of the John Barnes  Law Office.

Ken Kesson  will speak on wildlife and lake management issues and present the video “Planting Native Grasses for Shoreline Development.” He is a native of southern Michigan  and a graduate of  Michigan State University. He has been a biologist with the DNR for the past three years. Prior to coming back to Michigan Ken worked in Virginia, Ohio, and Wisconsin for various state and federal agencies in the natural resources field.

Patty  Hoch-Melluish is a project scientist with Kieser & Associates, an environmental  science and engineering firm in Kalamazoo.  She has managed projects involving wetland, streambank, and lakeshore rehabilitation using native plantings as well as bio-engineered stream bank erosion control. She holds a B.S. degree in biology from Western Michigan University and an M.S. degree in Water Resource Science from the University of Minnesota. She is a certified Natural Shoreline Professional.

Jared Foster is an ecology restoration specialist with Native Connections, a vendor of seeds and native plants in Three Rivers.  Originally from Greenville, Michigan, Jared earned a B.S. degree in Natural Resources Conservation from the University of Montana’s School of Forestry. He has worked for Bitterroot Restoration, Inc., a pioneering restoration company in Corvallis, Montana, as well as The Nature Conservancy, the Van Buren County Conservation District, and the Watershed Restoration Group.  He has restored mines, stream banks, and natural areas; eradicated invasive species, helped farmers  conserve soil and water, and planted thousands of plants and seeds across Michigan and much of the western United States.

Matt Schmitt is owner of  Trident Dock and Dredge company of Watervliet, Michigan, which is a member of the Michigan Soft Shoreline Project. Matt has 23 years  of experience in marine construction and is a certified natural shoreline installer. His firm recently built a pedestrian bridge over Mill Creek for the city of Watervliet and installed a handicap accessible fishing dock for a Baroda Township park on Hess Lake.

All the experts mentioned will be available to answer questions and provide additional information following the presentations.

To download a flyer regarding the June 22 event, click here.


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