What is Phenology, and Can You Participate?

Ask Amy!

Each week, our environmental educator, Amy Meeker-Taylor, fields a question from our community about local water issues, flora, fauna, or other topics of interest to Friends. You can ask Amy your questions by hitting “reply” or by reaching out to her directly at or 810.488.3975.


Dear Amy, 
What does this term, “phenology,” mean?

Do you take notice of geese gathering to migrate? Do you pay attention to yearly wildflower blooms? You just might be a phenology lover! Phenology is the study of the cyclic or periodic plant and animal life cycles. Many people record these events and note how annual occurrences vary. Changes over time can help us understand how things like climate change and population growth impact plant and animal populations. Want to learn more about phenology and how you can get involved? Check out Journey North ( for citizen science projects that you can contribute to!

Upper Reaches

News from our leadership

Our volunteer Board of Directors consists of nine members who are passionate about making the Blue Water Area cleaner and greener. For more information, contact Sheri Faust at

Southeast Michigan Watersheds

We’ve talked about what watersheds are, how they work, and shown you several local watersheds maps. Many of our Friends live outside the St. Clair River watershed, and may not have seen theirs in our newsletter yet. Can you find your watershed on this map of Southeast Michigan watersheds?

REMINDER: Binational Public Advisory Council meeting
Wednesday, October 10 @ 6:30 p.m.
St. Clair County Administration Building
200 Grand River Ave., Port Huron MI 48060

When the two Friends of the St. Clair River nonprofits come together with government environmental agency and First Nations representatives, we form the Binational Public Advisory Council (BPAC) for the St. Clair River Area of Concern. BPAC meetings are held approximately bi-monthly, are open to the public, and alternate between Sarnia and Port Huron. The next one is coming up on Wednesday, October 10 in Port Huron. Contact Kelly Johnson for more information at

Save the date! The next Friends of the St. Clair River board of directors 

meeting will be held in the evening on Wednesday, October 17 in Port Huron. The focus of this meeting will be on the Friends strategic plan. Contact Sheri Faust, Chair, for more information at

Stewardship Spotlight
Show the water some love with Friends!  
Our volunteer stewardship field sessions combine hands-on work such as picking up trash or gardening-like activities and citizen science to help manage local habitats and storm water projects for people, plants and wildlife. Sign up for our e-newsletter at or contact Kirsten Lyons, Stewardship Director, at or 810.294.4965 to learn more.

Thanks to Bob Haas, Karen Uhlman, Jeanne Mackay, Christine Danner, and Barb Ford for continuing the weeding in the Ferry Dock Gardens last week!

Monday River Walkers & Trash Talkers & Citizen Scientists!
Mondays @ 10 a.m.
Blue Water River Walk & Wetlands County Park, Port Huron

Our Monday River Walkers & Trash Talkers group has been meeting to pick up trash and get some fresh air and exercise for over two and a half years now. This group also monitors bird nest boxes, cleans out catch basins, and supports local restaurants with coffee and conservation conversation after our walk and work.

Join us any Monday at 10 a.m. Bring gloves and bring a friend! Meet at the arch at the north entrance to Blue Water River Walk. We go rain or shine, and you’re welcome to join us for either the walk or restaurant stop after, or both.

Tuesday Field Days
Tuesdays @ 10 a.m.-12 p.m.
Watch this newsletter for locations & tasks
Blue Water River Walk, Wetlands County Park & Vantage Point Butterfly Garden in Port Huron

Chickadees were feasting on insects this week at Columbus County Park

Get hands-on with the habitat every Tuesday during the growing season along the St. Clair River in Port Huron. Each week, we tackle a weed-of-the-week or other stewardship task for about an hour, and also spend about an hour exploring and learning.

UPDATE FOR 10-9-18: This week we’ll work on seed collecting and weeding in the Vantage Point Gardens. Park by north end of the Maritime Center.

Columbus County Park Field Days

Thursdays @ 2 – 4 p.m.
Columbus County Park, 1670 Bauman, Columbus
Meet in front of the Lodge at the end of the main entrance driveway

We start our field sessions at Columbus County Park with a wildflower walk or other native plant or wildlife exploration, discovering more woodland and prairie species in this vast and varied park each. Join us on Thursday afternoons to examine the flora and fauna and to scout, map and control invasive species. We suggest bringing bug spray and wearing closed-toe shoes and long pants and sleeves.

Dan Wallace, SC4 staff member, has the right tools for the job!

Save the Swales Stewardship Group
Fridays @ 10 a.m. – 12 p.m. 
St. Clair County Community College (SC4), Port Huron

We host a weekly Friday volunteer and staff work and learn session in the campus bioswales and rain gardens at St. Clair County Community College (SC4). We also include some citizen science or other learning opportunities into our stewardship. Bring friends, your favorite weeding tools and your natural curiosity. Look for staff and volunteers in neon vests — we’ll be working somewhere in the rain gardens and bioswales in the central parking area or the parking area just south of the Main building. Call Kirsten at 810.294.4965 if you need help finding us. Feel free to drop in or stay for the whole time. Every little bit helps!

Upcoming events:

Tuesday, October 9 @ 10 a.m.-12 p.m.
Field Day (Vantage Point Gardens)

Tuesday, October 9 @ 6 p.m.
Michigan Conservation Stewards

Wednesday, October 10 @ 6:30 p.m.
Binational Public Advisory Council Meeting
St. Clair County Administration Building
200 Grand River Ave., Port Huron

Thursday, October 11 @ 2 – 4 p.m.
Columbus County Park Field Day

Friday, October 12 @ 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Save the Swales stewardship group for SC4 Campus Bioswales & Rain Gardens

Saturday, October 13 @ 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Michigan Nature Association Fall Colors Hike & Workday at Alice Moore Woods in St. Clair
RSVP to Bill Atkinson at

Sunday, October 14 @ 11 a.m.
Blue Water Sierra Club Two Rivers Cycle from Marysville

Monday, October 15 @ 10 a.m.
Monday River Walkers & Trash Talkers
Meet at the arch at the north entrance to Blue Water River Walk in Port Huron

Tuesday, October 16 @ 10 a.m.-12 p.m.
Field Day (Location and tasks TBD)

Tuesday, October 16 @ 6 p.m.
Michigan Conservation Stewards

Wednesday, October 17 @ 6:30 p.m.
Friends of the St. Clair River board of directors meeting in Port Huron

Thursday, October 18 @ 2 – 4 p.m.
Columbus County Park Field Day

Friday, October 19 @ 10 a.m. – 12 p.m.
Save the Swales stewardship group for SC4 Campus Bioswales & Rain Gardens

Friends of the St. Clair River is the Blue Water Area’s largest environmental non-profit showing 44 miles of love to the St. Clair River since 2007. We provide meaningful experiences to engage our community in protection of the St. Clair River and its watersheds through citizen science, stewardship, and advocacy.

Friends is a 501c3 so your donation is tax deductible to the fullest extent of the law. Friends accepts donations at P.O. Box 611496, Port Huron, MI 48061. Thank you for showing our water some love!


Don’t forget to “Like” us on Facebook!

Disclaimer: Blue Water Healthy Living is an online magazine located in Port Huron, Michigan. Our purpose is to promote healthy living by showcasing the Blue Water Area, its people, issues and surroundings. This online magazine is devoted to providing healthy living related stories, local happenings, and commentary. Often inspiring and uplifting, our stories come from our heart and soul to promote the enjoyment of a more fulfilling Blue Water Area lifestyle. The material on this web site is provided for informational and amusement purposes only and is not to be confused with any medical advice, diagnosis or treatment. The views and opinions expressed do not necessarily reflect the opinions and values of Blue Water Healthy Living.

Our Sponsors

Voices Wanted!

Write for Blue Water Healthy Living
For more information on writing for BWHL….. Click Here!

Be a Part of GBS Media or BWHL

GBS Media