A genuine UP livestream | Courtesy Joan Haara
Our next livestream!
“The Necrobiome: A World of Life”
Dr. M. Eric Benbow, Michigan State University
Thursday, September 23, 2021, 8:00 pm EDT / 7:00 pm CDT via livestream on Facebook and Zoom (links below)
When you've been in the woods and found decaying tree trunks, mushrooms growing on dead organic matter, or perhaps even a decomposing carcass, did you ever wonder how this fits into our ecosystems? And what is happening in what is unseen by us to nourish the landscape? Join us on the next UPEC livestream to hear from Dr. Eric Benbow, a leader in studying the necrobiome: a complex system where the role of decomposition and decay has an impact on animals, birds, invertebrates, fungi, and microorganisms. Dr. Benbow focuses on applied ecology of insect–microbial interactions within three systems: carrion decomposition (and forensics), aquatic ecological networks, and disease systems. Together, they make up the necrobiome: the world of death which leads to new life.
For viewers who wish further information on the necrobiome, here is the original biography Dr. Benbow sent with a fuller explanation of his work and a selected bibliography.
Meeting ID: 831 1343 8020
keeping you in touch with the Upper Peninsula
Keweenaw Wild Ones and Hancock Beautification Committee planting green joy
Text & photos by Chris Jaehnig, Daily Mining Gazette
Republished with permission from the August 13, 2021, edition of the DMG
(Ed. note: This project was funded through a UPEC Environmental Education Grant).
Marcia Goodrich and Michiko Nielsen plant and water a little green friend that will attract bees, butterflies, and other pollinators to the strip.
HANCOCK — The Keweenaw Wild Ones, along with the Hancock City Beautification Committee met at 9 a.m. on lower Teszuco St. to exercise their green thumbs.
Marcia Goodrich with the Keweenaw Wild Ones said that their objective was to remove weeds and plant beneficial, native plants on the strip of ground next to the street.
“We’re sort of transforming a weedy strip into a border of native plants that will hold it in place really well,” Goodrich said. “These sedges (a long grass looking plant) have really great root systems. We’re putting in a ground cover of barren strawberries. They seem to be making it so far. This is really terrible soil. So we chose things that are tough customers.”
The strip on Tezcuco St. has a considerable angle, and rain runoff could wash away plants without a hardy, robust root system as well.
Another addition to the strip will be native Dwarf Bush Honeysuckles. Most honeysuckles in the area are nonnative, and invasive, Goodrich pointed out.
Kathy Salmi, Michiko Nielsen, and Kay Lang work together to pull weeds and plant beneficial, local species to the side of the road on Tezcuco St.
“They have pretty little yellow flowers earlier in the year. They have great fall color,” she said. “They’re good. They’re good for hummingbirds. There are bees that use them also and other beneficial insects and they do a great job in areas like this.
Strips like the one on Tezcuco St. have earned the title of “hellstrips” that “are right along pavement and roadways that take a lot of effort to plant and maintain,” Goodrich said.
Pulling weeds and planting native species is not only beneficial to the local ecosystem, but is healthy for the eye, as well.
“We’re hoping that this should fill in this strip, and make it an attractive stretch that people can see leading to Porvoo Park,” Goodrich said.
Goodrich wasn’t working this strip alone. Five other volunteers from the Keweenaw Wild Ones and the Hancock Beautification worked together to improve the strip.
“The volunteer help has been wonderful,” Goodrich said. “We’re only working out here for an hour or two, and then after this we’ll probably go for coffee, have a little social.”
The group of volunteers show up to work hard, and then hang around for fun afterwards.
“I don’t want us here for too long,” Goodrich said. “I don’t want to take everyone’s whole days or stop this from being fun.
“We also have our own gardens at home to take care of,” said Kristine Braidof, a member of the Hancock Beautification Committee.
“I also really have to thank the City of Hancock, especially the Beautification Committee for their support and hard work,” Goodrich said.
Funding for the project came through a grant from the Upper Peninsula Environmental Coalition.
“We’re able to do this work thanks to a generous grant of $1,500 from UPEC,” Goodrich explained. UPEC usually provides grants for larger, out of town projects.
The Beautification Committee and the Keweenaw Wild Ones were ecstatic to receive the funds from UPEC.